Sunday, February 15, 2015

Alaska Legislature Building Update

Before on the right, After at left. Click to enlarge

...While I'm at updating how the new CIRI building looks, I might as well also provide a photographic update of the Alaska Legislature Building downtown. As you can see, it is a huge difference. When the building was built some 40-plus years ago, the sides of the building had no windows -- those were added later. Now, as you can see, natural sunlight dominates the interior. And no, you're not imagining things, the front of the building did get wider. The Anchor Pub was a two story building that sat next to the Legislature building and actually got its start as the Empress Theater nearly 100 years ago. The theater was shut down and the buildings facade was recladded in concrete to look like the Legislative building next door. Both buildings were at the time used by Interstate Bank. So yes, it was kinda sad to see the old theater go, but it's not like the building was being preserved to keep its 1920s appearance or anything.

After and Before as seen from 4th Avenue

And while I'm at that, I might as well also provide a comparison of 909 Ninth Avenue, which itself was recladded about three years ago in what in my mind was a badly needed makeover.

909 Ninth Ave. After at left, Before on right

With all these 70s era buildings being recladded, it makes me wonder what else will get a change of skin. Downtown is afterall dominated by 60s and 70s era concrete slabs. I suppose the new candidate in need of change are the two Westward Anchorage buildings that flank the Hilton tower. Anyways, while the legislature building and 909 Ninth Ave have been given new life, I'd still say the most famous restoration was the McKinley Apartments tower.

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