"Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Building" Top 5 Page for this destination Space Needle Tip by glabah
Space Needle, Seattle: 5 reviews and 12 photos
Certainly, it is an office building and therefore isn't really anything you would want to put onto a "Things to Do" list, but if you happen to be in the area of the Seattle Center (the facility that houses the Space Needle and several museums), it might be worth wandering across the street to the Bill and Melinda Gates Building.
Around the perimeter of the building there is a low wall, and on top of this wall there are a number of verses designed to inspire social consciousness. The west wall has a large video screen on which a continuous loop of an observer visiting what appears to be an African village. The drinking fountain near the bus stops on the west side of the building empties the water onto the ground, which then goes into a nearby planter. The design of the drinking fountain reminds me of a number of watering troughs that I have seen in Africa.
Seattle has a program where those who own property near bus shelters are allowed to decorate them with certain artwork. The bus stop on the western edge of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation building has a straight and to the point message: "All Lives Have Equal Value".
So, there isn't too much here for the tourist (at least not yet - the visitor's center will open in 2012), but if you are in the area you might as well see what is here. At the very least the poetry and quotes on the top of the wall around the building may be interesting for you.
This new operations center for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was opened in June of 2011 so the landscaping hasn't had much of a chance to fill in yet, nor vandals had much of a chance to damage things.
How to Get Here: I suggest taking the bus, as parking and traffic in the area is obnoxious. There are a large number of bus routes that go past the building, including fairly frequent trolley bus routes 1 and 2. MANY bus routes serve the Seattle Center, and from there it is just a matter of going to the east side of the Seattle Center and getting across the street.
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