Friday, November 28, 2008

Mountain View on the rise

The Alaska Journal of Commerce published a great article this week on the continued revitalization of Mountain View. I don't know if I'd say Mountain View is destined to become the next SoHo as the article seems to imply, but seeing the effort coming from a barrage of local big muscle including the Rasmuson Foundation, JL Properties, Chevron, RIM Architects, etc (along with of course the Muni) does certainly paint a hopeful picture for this true Alaskan neighborhood. New buildings are also discussed in the article including the new Credit Union 1 which broke ground last month along with what looks to be a proposed two story building dedicated to artists or some sort.

While you're at it, here's a great blog dedicated to Mountain View by long time community organizer Clark Yerrington.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Vintage Anchorage

So I was looking through my way-too-large stash of Anchorage photos when I found this one collecting dust in one of my millions of sub-folders. I don't know the exact year, but I'd place my bet at circa 1960. Obviously you can't miss the McKinley Apartment tower on the left next to the old native hospital. But what gives me a hunch that this was just taken around the early 60s is that the bright yellow Hill Building (now City Hall) is standing proudly in the center of Downtown. The building was completed in... I'm wanting to say 1959. Also noticeable is the Turnagain Arms Apartments (in red) right above the then low density Bootleggers Cove near the Inlet. By the way, check out the smooth grade of 5th Avenue as it goes down into Bootleggers Cove. For those who have driven up 5th from Bootleggers, you could clearly see the difference in steepness. I'd assume the '64 quake, which hit that end of Downtown pretty hard, was probably responsible for reshaping the steepness of that bluff. Have any corrections, more facts, observations, or comments? Feel free to respond. Oh, and of course, click the picture for a much larger version.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hillside may get some... planning!

Not really an interesting article, but the headline "As Anchorage expands, planners chart Hillside's future" is quite the attention grabber especially for some of our friends up in that neighborhood who may or may not be stocking up on weapons for the prophesied coming of the city planners! The article, published in Sunday's ADN, mentions how the city is looking to treat some of the problems to be had in the Hillside such as water runoff, city services, and commercial development. Again, if you need reading material to put you to sleep, this article is for you. If unlike me you are interested, there will be some public meetings regarding a plan for the Hillside to deal with such hard hitting issues facing the neighborhood. And yes, there's a website for the plan as well: