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BOOM or Bust: Navigating Change

Seattle has a boom and bust history, with industry and commerce often serving as key drivers in our city’s development. In the late 19th Century and early 20th Century the Alaskan Yukon Gold Rush and logging industry stimulated major growth. Today, the rise of bio-tech, technology and e-commerce are greatly impacting Seattle and its neighborhoods. Exhibits and programs during this theme reflect on how we’ve navigated change over time and consider the impact of the past on Seattle’s future.

As the cultural identity and character of neighborhoods evolve into something new, whether or not changes are embraced, depends on many factors. For example, while growth and development play important roles in creating a healthy city, meaningful places are often lost in the wake of change. Most of us can recall the loss of a favorite neighborhood gathering space or family home to make way for a new fancy coffee shop or condo development.