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All of this was relatively harmless—some of it even admirable. But Allen also started buying up land all over the Pacific Northwest, particularly in Seattle, and spinning out grotesquely grand visions for it. Two of his most noticeable and controversial initiatives were the Jimi Hendrix Museum, a high-tech rock-and-roll entertainment venue he wanted to build on the hallowed Seattle Center grounds, and the Seattle Commons, a planned transformation of the south shore of Lake Union into a Utopian mixed-use neighborhood centered on a park. To that end, Allen “loaned” $20 million in 1992 to the group seeking to build the Commons, with the understanding that if Seattle citizens did not vote to levy $50 million in property taxes to fund the vision, Allen would take 11.5 acres of south Lake Union land—bought by the Commons with his loan—in exchange for the money.

The debate over the Commons highlighted the shift in Seattle’s self-image and dreams for itself. Now, there was no longer any question at all that we lived in, and defined ourselves as, a technology town. Just as more and more employees and tradespeople had been flowing toward technology companies and out of resource-based and traditional manufacturing industries, so too now were more and more of the city’s politics and urban development flowing techward. City Hall under Mayor Norm Rice was solidly behind the Commons project, which amounted to a massive urban-renewal tax plan, seed-funded with tech-sector money, for turning one of the most symbolic sections of the city into a high-tech business park. Seattle Commons was promoted as the wave of the future, an inspired means of accommodating rapid population growth and making way for the “clean” industries of the post-industrial age—software, biotechnology, and other nonpolluting industries whose primary factory assets were the brains of their employees.

From 1992 into 1995 the debate raged, with battle lines being drawn not only between those in thrall to technology’s money and those who held to a more traditional and less greedy view of Seattle, but also along socioeconomic lines: Polls conducted by research firms found that enthusiasm for the Commons came largely from Seattleites with incomes higher than $60,000 per year. But Commons promoters tried to define the divide differently—as one between forward-thinking people with a clear vision of the future and backward people clinging to outmoded views, jobs and traditions.

Lost in the overarching philosophical debate was the reality that 95 businesses would be displaced by the Commons. I went over one day and walked through the south Lake Union neighborhood, noting the distinctive lack of glamour there. It was the Seattle Jonathan Raban—who I heard had returned here to settle down—had invoked so fondly in 1989. I walked past a scrap-iron yard, antique and second-hand furniture warehouses, a bike shop, used-car lots, an appliance store, a sewing-machine shop, a trophy shop, and various other small enterprises, all in rundown buildings, many with anti-Commons signs in their windows, and none destined to take over the world or the city or even the neighborhood. No one here was intent on defining the future. These were just little family operations trying to get by as I had with my typesetting business so long ago. Walking these streets now, newly back from my frenzied sojourn at Microsoft, I waded through the same emotional slough I’d traversed years before during that depressing walk around Lake Union. Why, I wondered, is this city constantly turning against itself?

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Seattle and the demons of ambition. OpenStax CNX. Oct 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10504/1.4
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