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2008 11 07 Boma Annual Mtg Slideshow
 

2008 11 07 Boma Annual Mtg Slideshow

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Presentation given at the BOMA (Building owners and Managers) Annual Meeting in January of 2008.

Presentation given at the BOMA (Building owners and Managers) Annual Meeting in January of 2008.

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  • In the beginning, our Downtown was a “dense” collection of “expensive” homes, as this photo from 1910 shows. In case it’s not abundantly clear from the photo – and if you’re like me, it’s not – this picture was taken looking north from what would be present day Third & L Street, looking towards Ship Creek.
  • Our city grew up quickly, as we can see from this photo of Downtown Tent City, circa 1915. Believe it or not, clean, safe and vital was just as important to these urban tent dwellers as it is to us – of course, back then “clean” was what you did to the meal you had just shot earlier in the day, “safe” was your concern when scouting out drinking water, and “vital” was female entertainment that is not quite so legal these days.
  • But our city prospered and grew, as we can see from this photo of Fourth Avenue taken in 1917. And you thought ruts were bad nowadays?
  • In 1917, a revolutionary thing occurred that when Anchorage began putting in sidewalks. When I look at this photo, I like to imagine that as these gentlemen were pouring these sidewalks they were asking themselves, “who is going to keep these sidewalks clean and litter free?” For all we know, this could have been the genesis of our modern day improvement district. And if none of these guys had that thought…
  • … then perhaps these people walking along Fourth Avenue at E Street were asking themselves “why isn’t somebody clearing a courtesy path on these snow sidewalks.”
  • And surely this gentleman walking along Fourth Avenue was thinking to himself, “who is going to pick up the litter in the gutters and this trash on the sidewalk right next to me?” That question, unfortunately, wouldn’t be answered for another 70 years. In the meantime, however, Downtown Anchorage faced a more pressing concern than litter...
  • … such as how to provide electricity to the fledgling city. If you look in the distance in this photo, you can see one of Anchorage’s first sources of electricity. Is it a damn? A hydroelectric plant? Nope, neither.
  • It was a boat. This is the SS Sacketts Harbor, or at least what was left of it. In 1946 the ship broke in half 800 miles southwest of Adak. When the bow sank, the stern was towed to Anchorage where it served as the city’s first major power source. The ship supplied about 55% of Anchorage’s electricity from 1946-1955, when it was replaced by the Eklutna Hudroelectric Plant. ML&P – you’ve come a long way since then.
  • With electricity and new sidewalks in place, buildings like this one – the old Alger Building on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue & E Street – continued to spring up in the heart of our city. I don’t know what’s more remarkable about this photo – the fact that it looks like we had terrific sidewalks BUT still had dirt streets…
  • … or the fact that Anchorage once had a Bon Marche store.
  • Isadore "Ike" Bayles founded the first city newspaper here in downtown, naming it the Anchorage Daily Times.
  • Robert Atwood purchased the newspaper and eventually moved it into a new building on Fourth Avenue.
  • The Anchorage Times building expanded and is now the Snowden Court Administration Building. Mr. Atwood, meanwhile, was given the honor of having his name attached to a “slightly bigger” building:
  • In 1964, Wally Hickel built the first tower of the Hotel Captain Cook, conveniently located next to Bob Seaman’s Sport Shop on Fourth Avenue between I & K Streets.
  • And added a second tower in 1974…
  • … and his third tower after that.
  • Speaking of the Hotel Captain Cook, if you had been standing in this exact spot a mere 40 years earlier…
  • … this is what you would have seen. The Old Club 25 building used to be at the corner of Fourth Avenue & I Street.
  • Seen here next to the first tower of the Hotel Captain Cook.
  • Thankfully, this historic building can be seen still five blocks away at Fourth Avenue & D Street.
  • In the mid 1930s, an Elks Club was built in Downtown Anchorage…
  • … along the bluff at Third Ave & G Street. Of course, “along the bluff” wasn’t exactly a key selling point for Downtown properties…
  • … after March of 1964.
  • However, it takes more than the largest earthquake in history to discourage the Elks Club, and those determined folks quickly built a new lodge…
  • … in the exact same location at Third Avenue & G Street. Much like the story of the three little pigs, however, the Elks chose to step up the construction materials to bricks & mortar this time around.
  • And the building is still standing today as the Snow Goose Restaurant.
  • Meanwhile these idyllic, small homes…
  • ... Also located along the bluff on Third Avenue…
  • … were spared. I’d hate to think what Downtown dining would be like if they hadn’t.
  • The 1964 Good Friday earthquake was not quite so nice with other buildings in Downtown, as you can see in this photo of the JC Penney store.
  • Luckily, they were able to rebuild it…
  • … and – later – the Fifth Avenue Mall.
  • Here we are looking at the bend in the road at Christensen & Second Ave circa 1938.
  • … the same bend you can find beneath the Snow Goose Restaurant nowadays.
  • In the 1940s, this is what you saw when standing on Fourth Avenue at H Street and looking east.
  • Standing in the same spot looking in the same direction today, this is what you would see.
  • Standing at F Street and Sixth Avenue in the 1960s, and looking north, you would have seen the Anchorage Municipal Auditorium, more affectionately known as the Sydney Lawrence Auditorium.
  • Standing in roughly the same spot today, you would see a theater of a whole different caliber…
  • … and probably an ADP staff person in the downtown Kaladi Brothers.
  • At Fourth Avenue and F Street, looking east, you can see the beginnings a lively, vital downtown.
  • ... with pedestrians and on-street abundant parking. But something seems like it is missing from these photos…
  • ... ah yes! The ACVB Log Cabin! Note the still abundant on-street parking.
  • Does anybody recognize this building? It was the Masonic Temple…
  • … then Woolworth’s…
  • … and now houses Polar Bear Gifts at Fourth Avenue & F Street.
  • Can you recognize the block in red when looking east from G Street and Fifth Avenue? I’ll give you a hint – the white building with the large flagpole is City Hall.
  • That block became the Egan Center and the ACVB Corporate offices. This picture is looking at it from the north.
  • I’ll give bus fare to the first person who could correctly identify this block.
  • That tiny house used to stand at Sixth Avenue & H Street, where we now have our Transit Center.
  • Here is the Anchorage Westward Hotel at Third Avenue & E Street. The Westward would eventually build a 15 story tower at this location.
  • … which survived the 1964 earthquake.
  • They went on to build two more towers next to the original Westward tower. And in case you are wondering – yes the new towers help hold up the original tower… the original tower that we’re… all… in… RIGHT… NOW! But don’t worry, it could be worse.
  • Your new office could be…
  • … right here. The Sunshine Mall and Post Office Mall (now known as the Ship Creek Center) is where ADP’s offices are located. Similar to what the Hilton did with its new towers, the Sunshine Mall and Post Office Mall were both constructed in such a way that they are holding up Fourth Avenue.
  • At the corner of Fifth Avenue and G Street, this swank looking building was the Royal Inn Hotel.
  • Later renamed the Westmark Hotel.
  • Imagine, if you will, what it must have been like trying to get into downtown prior to the Minnesota Bypass…
  • And how easy it is now… err, in 1987 when this photo was taken apparently.
  • The corner of Fourth and G Street looked like this in the 1950s…
  • … and looks like this today.
  • The Loussac-Sogn Building at Fifth Avenue & D Street looked like this in the 1960s…
  • … and, well, looks pretty much the same nearly 50 years later.
  • It’s hard to not refer to this building as the “old” Federal Building, but in the 1930s it was anything BUT old. Judging by the sidewalks, I’d say the idea for an improvement district still hadn’t been realized.
  • Today the Federal Building still stands at Fourth and G Street, can rightly be called “old,” and has some pretty nice, clean sidewalks – if I do say so myself. You know, for all the changes we’ve seen in the past 70 – 80 years, I’d have to say there is one important change that we haven’t seen yet. There is one change in Downtown Anchorage that I’d say is probably one of the most important changes we’ve seen in the past 30 – 40 years. I think you might know what I am talking about. What is our Downtown missing right now? Think about it… what is the number one question asked by tourists and visitors when they come Downtown?
  • Where is the ski jump? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked that question. In the old days, our visitors & tourists could satisfy all of their ski jumping desires right off Third Avenue & Gambell, on the bluff behind the old Alaska Native Hospital site and next to present day Bean’s Café. I’ve been down there recently and seen some interesting man made structures, but – unfortunately – none of them were ski jumps.
  • No, the missing ingredient I am actually referring to is a grocery store actually located in Downtown. Here we see the Anchorage Grocery & Market, located on 4 th Avenue between H & I Street – where state courthouse now stands. What this picture tells us, aside from “Drink Coke,” is that a grocery store was an important part of Downtown vitality in the past. And looking forward to the future, I like to think it will be again. As Downtown Anchorage continues to grow and develop its residential potential, a local grocery store will be a vital component of future development. Development that includes…
  • Public and private projects throughout the heart of our city are completed or already underway.
  • The former McKay building – now called McKinley Tower – is open…
  • … as is the Sullivan Assisted Living Facility.
  • Tundra Tykes Daycare at Eighth Avenue & D Street is open…
  • … and the JC Penney garage facelift is now complete.
  • The Dena’ina Convention Center is open…
  • … and the Linny Pacillo Parking Garage.
  • Meanwhile, the Augustine Energy Center at Sixth Avenue & G Street – hopefully - will break ground next summer…
  • … the Alaska Rail Road has already started track work for the new Ship Creek Intermodal Transportation Center…
  • … and the Anchorage Museum Expansion will be done in 2010.
  • Anchorage - 1930’s
  • 1950s
  • 1960s – post earthquake
  • 1960s – post earthquake
  • today

2008 11 07 Boma Annual Mtg Slideshow 2008 11 07 Boma Annual Mtg Slideshow Presentation Transcript

  • Downtown Anchorage: In the beginning…
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  • L Street Sixth Avenue
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  • Anchorage Westward (you are here)
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  • Thank You to the following for picture contributions:
    • Alaska Pacific University
    • Alaska Railroad
    • Anchorage Museum of History & Art, Library Archives
    • Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • Hafling Family Personal collection
    • Liston Family Personal collection
    • University of Alaska Anchorage, Archives & Manuscripts Dept.
    • University of Alaska Anchorage, Archives & Special Collections