Efforts continue to save Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theatre
There’s no denying Sandy Harper loves the 4th Avenue Theatre.
“The theater has been here longer than I have,” said Harper, who has called Anchorage home for 30 years. The building has been part of the downtown Anchorage skyline for more than twice that, a span of 70 years.
“I don’t think there’s anything like it, certainly in Alaska,” Harper said.
That’s why she is among those trying to save the building from any possibility that it might face the wrecking ball.
“It would be tragic, it would just be a hole in the history of Anchorage, and Alaska, and because it’s such an exquisite building, it would be even more tragic,” said Harper.
The theater is already on the National Register of Historic Places. Earlier this week, the Alaska Historical Association unanimously agreed the building should be given similar recognition by the state.
The next step of that process lies in the hands of Gov. Bill Walker. He needs to contact the owners of the building, Peach Investments, to see if they would agree to having the building declared a state monument or historic site. There’s no word what the governor will do.
Peach Investments unveiled plans for massive redevelopment of Fourth and Fifth avenues nearly two years ago, but didn’t say how the theater fits into the project. The owners have said in the past that they have no intention of demolishing the building.
Harper and others believe the 4th Avenue Theatre still has a story to tell.
“It’s very important for people to remember their history,” Harper said.
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