Museums and Historic Buildings
Anchorage is pretty short on historical buildings since much of the city was destroyed in the 1964 quake and most of the city’s development and growth has taken place since the 1970s. The neighborhood around 2nd Avenue at F Street includes several of the original town-site homes constructed in the early 1900s, and historical panels describe the city’s early days.
A few other structures survive from quieter times, including the Oscar Anderson House Museum (420 M St., 907/274-2336, $3 adults, $1 kids), open for 45-minute tours Monday–Friday noon–5 p.m. June–mid-September. This refurbished little bungalow—built in 1915 by Anchorage’s first butcher—is the oldest frame residence in this young city. It reopens during the first two weekends of December, when it is festooned with traditional Swedish Christmas decorations.
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail passes right in front of the Oscar Anderson House, and adjacent is tiny Elderberry Park, a pleasant place to relax on a sunny afternoon, with picnic and playground facilities.
The free Alaska State Trooper Museum (245 W. 5th Ave., 907/279-5050 or 800/770-5050, www.alaskatroopermuseum.com, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat. noon–4 p.m.) is worth visiting to check out the gleaming 1952 Hudson Hornet patrol car.
A block from the Anchorage Museum is Wolf Song of Alaska (6th Ave. and C St., 907/274-9653, www.wolfsongalaska.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about wolves. It houses a small museum with exhibits and a gift shop.
Across the street from the old Federal Building is the 4th Avenue Theater, built in 1947 and one of the few structures to survive the 1964 earthquake. Up the street and right next to the log cabin visitors center is Old City Hall, housing the offices of the ACVB. Step inside the lobby to view a few exhibits and historic photos from early Anchorage.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition