Growth and Prosperity

Seattle was rebuilt rapidly after the fire. The years from 1889 to 1893 represented a period of prosperity. The commercial core and civic building were rebuilt in brick and stone, often in the popular Romanesque Revival style. Architects traveled from across the country to take advantage of this boom. While Seattle was as negatively affected by the Panic of 1893 as the rest of the country, the discovery of gold in the Yukon in the 1897 brought a population explosion. From 1900 to1910 Seattle grew from 80,000 inhabitants to 237,000.

The twentieth century brought unprecedented growth and a striving for middle class respectability to Seattle, in contrast to its earlier rough-and-tumble character. Although Seattle was a frontier town, these trends were seen throughout the country as cities responded to rapid growth from industrialization and immigration. Seattle's response during this first decade was to establish the same cultural institutions that many knew from their home towns. The number of churches, charitable institutions, and social and business clubs that developed in this decade was dramatic. Twenty churches were built in 1907 alone, making this a "memorable period of moral, social and religious advancement," as noted one civic leader at the time.


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