Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meanwhile, just down the street...

once a charming cottage, now parking
Construction on the new Covenant House isn't the only activity happening in the Downtown stretch of A Street. A block away, an old cottage on 6th and A that housed a small Russian Orthodox museum in the last decade was recently demolished. Upon noticing the disappearance of the oddly shaped cottage, my excitement kicked in as I fell under the presumption that a new larger building will fill its spot, but I guess I should have known better. Earlier this week the site was paved and yellow parking lines were added :(  This is at least the 6th building in Downtown Anchorage to be demolished for parking in the last 5 years. Among the more famous buildings to be demolished since 2007 were the Alaska Experience Theater, and of course, Wings n' Things, which sat at the corner of I and 6th and was a chicken wings institution for decades before its sudden closure which left many fans baffled. It's embarrassing that we demolish buildings that house people so we can have a place to house machines. Not to get deep, but the destruction of the cottage for parking is a sad commentary on where our priorities are when it comes to urban planning. I'd much rather we kept the cottage...
at the corner of 4th and A

But all is not lost! Three blocks down, again on A Street, a lease sign showing a classy upscale building has been placed on what has long been an empty site across from Fire Station 1 on 4th Avenue. The sign is a little confusing though as the artist rendering shows the buildings length going down A Street, which does not make sense. The top half of the block is already occupied by a building while the bottom half, which runs along 4th Avenue, is empty and for which I would assume the new building would be placed. In other words, that should say 4th Avenue rather than A Street. But whatever the minor mistake, in the end, I love this building. A number of signs have been posted throughout Anchorage in the past showing exciting new buildings only for them not to materialize -- I really hope this building avoids becoming another statistic and instead becomes a reality.

6th and A, before it was parking

rendering of what may be built on 4th and A

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