SEATTLE (AP) — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting the community to help it celebrate its new headquarters this week, as it moves from five scattered nondescript office buildings around Seattle to an architectural showcase in the center of its hometown.
The move and the buildings are both symbolic of the ways this family foundation has grown in little more than a decade. The organization has gone from a small charity interested in bringing the Internet to public libraries to the world’s largest charitable foundation trying to end AIDS and polio.
Most of the foundation’s old buildings didn’t even have a sign out front. Now, the staff of nearly 1,000 come to work each day in one of the city’s most visited neighborhoods, Seattle Center, home of the iconic Space Needle.