The Underground Tour
In the late 1800s, downtown Seattle was less the fish-smelling, hipster mecca it is today, and more like the Swamp of Sadness from The NeverEnding Story. No, seriously: Whenever it rained, the streets would "bloat deep enough with mud to consume dogs and small children." Luckily, in 1889, that was no longer a worry. Oh, not because they fixed the infrastructure -- because the Great Seattle Fire pretty much burned the whole thing to the ground. They had bigger stuff to worry about.
University of Washington
Bigger buildings to fry
For a time.
Then the flames died down, the torrential rain returned, and the entire downtown area, much like your mother, was nothing more than a gargantuan, smoking mudhole.
via Seattle Homes Today
Turns out God works for a rival tourism bureau in Portland.
A flannel of officials (that's what you call any convened group of Seattleites) decided that an urban bog maybe wasn't the cool new city-planning movement it seemed at first glance. Instead of rebuilding downtown, they decided to raise the city floor 8 feet, which made a lot of sense to everybody that didn't own property below the 8-foot line. For those unfortunate suckers, the new city-on-stilts meant that they'd have to relocate their first-floor lobbies and storefronts to the second floor, and many of them just didn't have the money for it. So they carried out business as usual on the pre-fire city level.
Mining, smithing, and such.