The legend of the library that caused Building 4 to sink

Raymond Chen

In the now-demolished original Microsoft Redmond campus, the library was on the second floor of building 4.

Building 4 was not built to be the library. It was just another building on campus, but the library ended up there. The library occupied the space on the second floor directly above the little cafeteria.¹

You might think it strange to put a library on the second floor, seeing as the books are going to be heavy, but that was the only place it could go, since the “large” room downstairs was already being used for the cafeteria. (Each building had space for two “large” rooms, one on the lower floor, and one on the upper floor.)

Of course, you can’t cheat gravity, and over time, as the library collection grew, the weight of the books took their toll on Building 4. Some people say that the building was sinking. Maybe. But everyone agreed that the pillars in the underground parking were starting to crack.

The library moved out of Building 4, and it spent time in a handful of other buildings before settling into a purpose-built space in Building 92. Even though parts of Building 92 are open to the public, the library is not part of the publicly-accessible portion. Sorry.

¹ The word “little” is to distinguish the cafeteria from the “big” cafeterias in the larger buildings like 9. By today’s standards, all of the cafeterias in the original Microsoft Redmond campus were little. Even the “big” ones.