George Oscar Swasey was born in Beverly, Massachusetts in 1858 and was a graduate of Exeter Academy and Harvard University. A Tacoma resident for more than 51 years, Swasey was an attorney prior to his retirement in 1948. George O. Swasey died on February 26, 1958.
Through his will, Mr. Swasey bequeathed $110,000 to the Tacoma Public Library for the construction of a branch library to serve the city’s west end. The generous bequest not only included funds for construction, but also for all necessary equipment and library materials. The Library’s Board of Trustees formally accepted the bequest on May 20, 1959.
When it opened on October 7, 1960, the George O. Swasey Branch of the Tacoma Public Library was the largest branch library in the City of Tacoma. The 7,138 square foot library was designed by the Tacoma architectural firm of Lea, Pearson, and Richard, architects.
The $15.8 million Bond Project program passed by Tacoma voters in 1984 provided for a comprehensive renovation of the Swasey Branch Library and the addition of 2,548 square feet of public service space.
Last Updated 04.01.2012