Sunday, June 26, 2016
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Sorry for the long delay in posting. Just came back from Japan. Anyways, construction continues on the new towers that will house overnight patients and their families. A skybridge will connect the main hospital to the housing units and adjoining parking garage. Don't know the official completion date, but I'd say it'll probably be ready by this fall.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
|current view on left, finished product on right|
Saturday, February 6, 2016
|map courtesy of UAF|
Happy new years. Can't believe this blog will be turning 8 years old this year. Anyways, I've been busy, but I did not want to let these stories go by without some coverage as they are pretty interesting, particularly the post-quake data that just came in:
Anchorage Seismic Data Published
So apparently Anchorage had a thorough seismograph network installed about a decade ago that was finally put to use during the recent Iniskin Earthquake, or as I like to call it -- The Saturday Night Shaker. The results that came in have been surprising as they reveal dramatically different results for different parts of the city when it came to the force of the shake. For instance, check out the difference between the seismograph reading in Jewel Lake and the one right below it in Southport. Surprisingly, the Hillside felt it more than Southport. Conventional wisdom has been that Hillside is most immune to quakes. That was one reason why homeowners who owned property in Turnagain Heights (which of course slid into the inlet in 1964) were provided with plots on the Hillside. I was also surprised that Downtown and West Anchorage were not off the rails as they were the biggest disaster areas for the Anchorage Bowl following the '64 quake. Jewel Lake, Airport Heights, Midtown around Dowling and C Street, and parts of Hillside suffered worse than Downtown, which according to the map was placed around West 5th Avenue -- the heart of the townsite.
An Orchard for Government Hill
Residents of Government Hill have recently proposed building an orchard and garden on a 2 acre site that sits vacant between the neighborhood and the neighborhood's commercial strip. The site was once home to the Sourdough Inn, a long abandoned motel that was controversially demolished last year by the DOT to make way for the proposed Knik Arm Crossing. This despite the fact that financial backing for the project has not been secured yet. Some residents claimed this to be the DOT's way of trying to make the project look inevitable and discourage protest. Surprisingly, the DOT is on board with Gov Hill residents on the orchard idea. But of course this sort of land use will be easy to remove should the bridge project actually go forward, as the DOT itself has said it would be placed above the tunnel that they want to build. Whatever the case, hopefully this first of a kind project for Anchorage materializes.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Sunday, December 6, 2015
|How the new transit center may look|
I know this shouldn't mean anything, but I do like to pick apart little tidbits that concern Anchorage trivia. The Alaska Dispatch quoted Halcro as saying the change expected to take place at the transit center will be the most dramatic transformation of a downtown city block since the construction of the 5th Avenue Mall in 1985. So is this the case? Well, no, it is not. What immediately came to my mind was the construction of the Marriott hotel in 1999. Since the 1980s boom, it is the only highrise to be built in downtown during these last 30 years. I think it's safe to say that block got fairly transformed. Going slightly further back, you may recall the clearing of a block on 4th Avenue in 1994 to make way for the Nesbett Courthouse. And how could we forget the triple threat of 2008 -- the Dena'ina Convention Center, the Linny Pacillo Parking Garage, and the Anchorage Museum extension. We could also say the revival of the McKinley Tower Apartments was a significant change to a city block. Once entirely abandoned, the reopened apartment tower sits next to a social services office on one side and a smaller apartment building for senior housing. But I can see why Andrew Halcro and probably many others would make the mistake of glossing over those other projects. Since the end of the oil boom, development in downtown has come to a virtual standstill. These days we're more used to seeing highrise buildings going up in Midtown. Whether this will change remains to be seen, but it's good to know we have a city administration that cares for this part of town and is working to make it blossom again.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
|Anchorage townsite, circa 1915|
Something I did not knew until reading this new article was that Christensen lived until 1969, reaching the age of 90. It makes me wonder whether he saw the development taking place in Prudhoe Bay for it was during the late 60s that oil was discovered and the first oil lease auction was held in Anchorage. Did he see what became of the Anchorage townsite? Once a quiet home to cottages and backyards, by the late 60s it became home to new highrises such as the Hill Building (now City Hall), First National Building, Anchorage Westward (now Hilton), and the Captain Cook. All of this development taking place on his grid.
More info on Christensen and the city's founding can be found here.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
|at the corner of 6th and F|
Sunday, August 9, 2015
|the parking garage is on the right|