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SEATTLE, WA-Books are essential to banks, but even more so to libraries. So it isn’t so curious that a library should take over a bank for its new quarters. The Seattle Public Library wants to do just that, if it can finalize a deal next month to buy the Wells Fargo Bank building at 2821 Beacon Ave. S. for a new branch library on Beacon Hill.

The Library would pay $1.2-million for the bank site, pending the okay of the library board of trustees when it votes January 23. Closing the deal will permit Carlson Architects to begin the design of the $4.7-million building renovation early in 2001.

Wells Fargo has operated this branch since 1975, but it may consolidate Beacon Hill with an expanded Rainier Avenue branch if the sale goes through, because it can’t find suitable accommodations on Beacon Hill.

The sale is not exactly a friendly take-over. Judith James, who runs the Beacon Hill branch, said in a prepared statement that the consolidation is not the solution Wells Fargo had hoped for. But under the threat of condemnation, we feel that this would be the best for the overall good of the community, she said.

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