|Islamic Community Center of Anchorage|
This one apparently escaped my radar for some time now, but work is still underway on what will be Alaska's first mosque, known officially as the Islamic Community Center of Anchorage. When I first heard that this building will secure the title as Alaska's first mosque, I was a bit confused as I thought there was already a place of worship in our city. Turns out there is -- but it's in a crammed rented space in a strip mall. This will be the first purpose-built house of worship which at 15,000 sq. feet will have heated floors for worship during the winter and separate areas for men and women. What's particularly cool is that the mosque will indeed have minarets. You can see more pictures as well as video that shows the various planned phases for construction of the mosque at the mosque's official website. While this construction project flew over my head, it did receive the attention of various outside sources including the Wall Street Journal. My favorite coverage comes from the blog 30 Mosques which does a great job putting a human face on the congregation. One source claims the Islamic community in Anchorage to be at around 2,000. As a result, funding for the project has taken quite some time, and the congregation is still asking for donations to complete the work.