Pioneer School House - Anchorage, Alaska
Posted by: BruceS
N 61° 13.193 W 149° 52.521
6V E 345595 N 6790676
Quick Description: Historic school house in Anchorage, Alaska.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 7/25/2010 10:29:48 PM
Waymark Code: WM9B7H
"The Pioneer School was designed and built in 1915 by the Alaska Engineering Commission, (A. E.G.), the Federal agency (U.S. Department of Interior) which constructed the Alaska Railroad. The two-story building served approximately ninety elementary and high school students in 1915 and 1916. Two classrooms were located on each floor of the building. A handful of teachers used those rooms in teaching consolidated classes (for example, third and fourth grades were in the same room). In its era, the school was labeled "entirely inadequate," "insanitary," and was characteristically "of an order of the early eighteenth century." The school lacked paint, restrooms, running water, a satisfactory heating system, and a solid foundation. The unheated, outdoor toilets did not meet townsite standards. Despite the shortcomings, the school was able to launch public education in Anchorage...
The building originally stood on the School Reserve, a full square block (300 by 300 feet) which was platted by the A. E.G. in creating the Anchorage Townsite. After the complet ion. of the second school (1917), the school was moved across the street to the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and E Street.
The Pioneers of Alaska (Igloo 15) used the building as their social hall from the 1920's to 1964. (The Pioneers are a social organization whose membership requires long-term residency in Alaska.) The Pioneers were instrumental in a number of changes to the building. Early on, they converted the upstairs into a dance floor: its hardwood floor is set in a concentric, rectangular pattern, and a chair-ledge surrounds the dance area. Other modifications include the addition of a kitchen and alternations to the first floor for public meeting space.
Following the 1964 Earthquake, the building was saved from demolition through the efforts of the Anchorage Women's Club. It was moved eleven blocks to the eastern edge of the Original Townsite in 1965." - National Register Nomination form
The building now owned by the Municipality of Anchorage is used as a public meeting place.
3rd Ave. and Eagle St
Web Site: [Web Link]
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