80 years later, Tacoma's Mottet Library still a classic

Tacoma Public Library officials re-opened the Charlotte White Mottet Library on Tuesday following a three-month renovation. Visitors noticed more computer workstations, a brighter and more spacious interior, a special area just for teens, a cozy reading nook and ADA-compliant rest rooms.

According to the library’s Web site, the Mottet Library opened in the fall of 1930 as a gift to the city from Frederic Mottet, an early Tacoma businessman, civic leader and library activist, in memory of his wife who was prominent in Tacoma’s cultural and social life during the late 1880’s. The site was chosen because Mottet and his wife spent many hours horseback riding in the McKinley Hill area. Mr. Mottet built up one of the greatest mercantile establishments in the Pacific Northwest, the Hunt and Mottet Company. The library was built at a cost of $9,800 (including the purchase of land). Frederic Mottet, who served as the first President of the first appointed Library Board of Trustees in 1906 and again from 1926 to 1933, officially presented the new library to the City of Tacoma at the dedication ceremonies on November 26, 1930. The whitewashed brick library, built in the style of a French Provincial cottage, reflected Mottet’s French Huguenot ancestry. Silas Nelsen, a well-known Tacoma architect, designed the building. Additions and renovations to the Mottet Library were completed in 1964, 1975 and 1989 to expand the library, bring it up to code, and add a community meeting room.

The public is invited to an open house on Sat., Jan. 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mottet Library. The event will include music, refreshments, and a “Valentines for Vets” crafts workshop for families. The library is located 3523 East G Street. More information is available online here.