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July 10, 2007

Gates Foundation center as new tourist attraction?

Posted by Kristi Heim at 2:56 PM

The visitor's center at heart of the new Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus is being designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the same firm that designed the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Scheduled to open in 2010, the 15,000-square-foot center will be a public window on the foundation's work in global health, development and education.

In this interview founder Ralph Appelbaum says he intends to convey a message of optimism, that "all lives, no matter where they're lived, have equal value; that there are inequities, but today's problems are solvable."

The center aims to open people's eyes to global problems through a journey or personal encounter, similar to the way visitors experience the Holocaust Museum.

In Seattle, visitors will see "how an American family became engaged with complex and serious issues and found their own way to contribute," he said.

Since the new campus is at Seattle Center, just across the street from the Space Needle and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Experience Music Project, it could become a regular stop for visitors to Seattle. Maybe they'll think of it as the Experience Philanthropy Project.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Kristi Heim
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