City Of Dreams | KUOW News and Information

City Of Dreams

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, with thousands of newcomers arriving each year. Many come with big dreams they hope to realize in our city.

What is it about this place that invites these dreamers? And why do they stay? People are only half-joking when they say, “It must be something in the water.”

Perched on the northwest edge of the continental United States, we’ve always been fertile ground for tomorrow’s innovators: From Bill Boeing and Nellie Cornish, to Bernie Whitebear and Susie Lee, our culture has been shaped by those who found Seattle a place to fulfill their creative visions.

“City of Dreams” will look at the history that paved the way for a city that welcomes innovation. We’ll do stories about the game-changers who put Seattle on the map as a place where we innovate in tech, the arts, social activism, science and medicine.

We’ll be profiling today’s dreamers who are shaping the Seattle of tomorrow.

Tell us who you see creating and innovating in Seattle.

Joe DiMaggio, Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, and patient Darrell Johnson in LAF (laminar airflow) room, 1978
Courtesy of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

There was a time when the cure for leukemia was almost as lethal as the disease. Before bone marrow transplants, patients were treated with arsenic or radiation — and the outlook was often considered hopeless.

November 2, 1972, two days after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kingdome, Bob Santos led a protest. The rallying cry: HUMBOWS NOT HOT DOGS!
Courtesy Eugene M. Tagawa

The 1960s brought marches, boycotts, and moments of unrest to Seattle as the battle for civil rights played out across the country.

That was also when four local activists — Roberto Maestas, Bob Santos, Bernie Whitebear and Larry Gossett — joined together to give voice to Seattle’s minority communities. Their nickname was the Gang of Four.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When playwright Andrew Russell moved to Seattle in 2009, his mother came to visit. It was her first trip to the Pacific Northwest.

She told him something that he hasn’t forgotten: “Seattle is a great place to keep a secret.”

Nellie Cornish, founder of the school that became the Cornish College of the Arts, taken in the 1920s.
Courtesy Cornish College of the Arts

When Nellie Cornish arrived in Seattle in 1900, she was a 24-year-old piano teacher looking to make a living in a city that was more hospitable to Gold Rush prospectors than it was to the fine arts.

Flickr Photo/Aaron Brethorst (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/wZ2bfe

Here in Seattle, we're innovators in tech, business, medicine, music and art. KUOW is exploring why Seattle is a magnet for people with big dreams. At a recent Seattle Public Library event called Invent Together, we asked people why Seattle is a hub for innovation. 

Model airplanes are stored at the Boeing Historical Archives on Friday, September 15, 2017, in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Jeannie Yandel talks with Marcie Sillman about Bill Boeing, Nellie Cornish and other innovators who had a lasting impact on Seattle. 

KUOW's new project City of Dreams explores the key figures who shaped the Puget Sound region and highlights the work of today's innovators who are shaping the future.

The first Boeing airplane, the Bluebill, B&W Model 1, assembled and launched from Seattle's Lake Union
photo courtesy Boeing Historical Archives

On any given weekday morning, thousands of young professionals flood the streets in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Their identical black backpacks and swinging lanyards mark them as employees of the global retail behemoth Amazon.