Born of bold vision, ambition, controversy, failure, then triumph … it seems we’ve already forgotten the story of one of our city’s most famous named celebrities of the early new millennium, validating the missed opportunity that this effort was intended to realize. Bertha the tunnel-boring machine was amazing, the largest of her kind in the world, she DID realize the Highway 99 tunnel despite the political hand-wringing that accompanied the project, an undeniable triumph of engineering. Bertha’s work was yet another chapter in Seattle’s history of bold engineering reshaping the landscape of our city, from the Denny regrade to the Lake Washington ship canal. While Bertha was controversial at the time, our collaboration with artist John Fleming was shaped by a realization that Bertha’s story should be longer than the current news cycle, and honored by the creation of a community artwork and gathering space shaped by a reimagining of her puzzle-like cutterhead. While the idea was supported by many, the time constraints and challenges of the project could not be met for too many reasons to list. Yet we are better for having dreamed this dream and invested in this effort … and there is a lesson. If you’re not failing, then you’re not innovating; if you only try to do what you know is attainable, you’re not pushing yourself and the world is missing out on game-changing ideas, some of which WILL persevere. The experience and energy of this unrealized initiative fuels the new dreams we pursue today shaping our design, advocacy, stakeholder building and political navigations. If nothing else, the effort allowed us to tour Bertha as she neared the completion of her job and to see her as she broke through to the other side. Although the art piece was never realized, we have, sitting in our office, one of Bertha’s teeth weighing in at 70 pounds … indeed, a small part of Bertha does live on!