While his old Microsoft buddy and co-founder Bill Gates is busy fighting

While his old Microsoft buddy and co-founder Bill Gates is busy fighting malaria, the man behind the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has been reshaping his hometown. Though today a Mercer Island resident, the once-bearded billionaire’s giving goes way beyond the Seahawks’ improved fortunes in the NFL. Over the past 20 years, his foundation has awarded over $450 million in grants. Local cultural entities include ACT, 4Culture, Velocity Dance Center, the Wing Luke Museum, SIFF, the Seattle Symphony, and SAM. Also on the long list of beneficiaries are the Seattle Public Library, the UW (hence the Allen Library), the Burke Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, Northwest Film Forum, and the Bellevue Arts Museum. As an individual, of course, Allen bought and refurbished the Cinerama and built the EMP Museum (still a reliable tourist draw). And though the ill-fated Seattle Commons scheme didn’t work out, the now-thriving South Lake Union amounts to a huge economic gift to the city, too. All those free-spending young programmers may not be using MS-DOS anymore, but we might not have them there were it not for Paul Allen.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

This screenshot from Auburn Police Department bodycam footage shows an officer about to fire his weapon and kill dog on May 13, 2022.
Auburn police shoot dog, and owner claims it wasn’t justified

See videos of attack as well as bodycam footage of officer firing at dog.

File photo.
King County Council approves creation of Cannabis Safety Taskforce amid rash of dispensary robberies

The multi-agency task force will cooperate to find ways to improve safety in the cash-only industry.

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Diane Renee Erdmann and Bernard Ross Hansen. Photos courtesy of FBI
FBI arrests Auburn couple after 11-day manhunt

The couple was previously convicted for fraud and skipped sentencing on April 29.

Screenshot from Barnes and Noble website
Cover art of books that KSD Librarian Gavin Downing says have been under fire: “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts),” by Lev A.C. Rosen, “If I Was Your Girl,” by Meredith Russo, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George Matthew Johnson.
Kent middle school librarian wins intellectual freedom award

Gavin Downing refused to keep ‘silence in the library’ amid attempted book banning and censorship.

t
Kent elementary school teacher accused of using racist language toward student

River Ridge Elementary instructor placed on administrative leave by Kent School District.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Joann and Allan Thomas are flanked in court by their attorneys Terrence Kellogg (fourth from the right) and John Henry Browne (far right) on May 10, 2022. Judge Richard Jones is presiding over the case. Sketch by Seattle-based artist Lois Silver
At drainage district corruption trial, it’s a tale of dueling conspiracies

Allan and Joann Thomas are in trial in Seattle on fraud charges.

Most Read