The Alaska Building was built around 1916 as one of Anchorage's first concrete buildings. Located on the corner of 4th and G Street next to the former Empress Theatre, the Alaska Building originally functioned as a home to a music shop, a physician, a bank, and a law office. In 1923 the property was bought by J.B. (Jake) Gottstein who added two floors to the portion of the building that fronted on G Street during World War II. Part of the addition was used as his residence and the rest was used as warehouse space for J. B. Gottstein Co. Wholesale Groceries. Jake's grandson Jim purchased the Alaska Building in June 1995, from his father, B.J. (Barney) Gottstein, thus being the third generation Gottstein to own the building.
The building has had a continual stream of occupants since its earliest days, and remains centrally located within the heart of downtown Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Today, the Alaska Building is used by a variety of Anchorage businesses. On the ground floor is a collection of fine retail establishments. The Alaska Ivory Exchange has fine ivory sculptures and other quality jewelry and art. If you want a snack to go, Pil's Deli offers donuts, coffee, sandwiches, soups and soft drinks. Side Street Espresso offers a classic coffee house menu in a relaxed setting and showcases local artists' work. John Schweider Photography has the finest Alaska photography available. Octopus Ink has Eco-friendly clothing featuring original hand drawn designs by Shara Dorris printed onto organic clothing. G Street Fox features hand painted clogs by Romney Dodd, Swedish Skhoop insulated skirts and other fun wear.
The upstairs office space is home to the Alaska World Affairs Council, the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, the World Wildlife Fund, Cook Inlet Keeper, Alaska Environmental Foundation, and Partners for Progress.
Last Modified 4/2/2015
Copyright 1995-2015 by Alaska Building, Inc.
Photo courtesy of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.