The Gates mansion is located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, in the posh suburb of Medina, Washington. The house is just a 15-minute drive to Seattle, directly across the lake to the west. It’s another 15 minutes by car to the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, located to
Medina has a population of 2,969 and has the third-highest per-capita income in the state of Washington. In 2009, the city installed a comprehensive public surveillance system, placing video cameras with automatic license plate readers along all the roads entering the city, in an effort to prevent property crime at the expense of privacy.
The Gates mansion itself sits on a hillside facing the lake, and much of the house is sheltered underground by the earth of the hill. This wall of earth provides privacy, security, and excellent insulation.