Posting here has gone from very light to nonexistant again, as at various times in the three year history of this site. All I can say is I’ve been dealing with a million other details — but I’m still here, and Mt. View is still here. Both are not doing too badly. (I’ve been writing more regularly on my other blog.)
Mayor Sullivan will be sworn in July 1st, and I am hoping he does not revert to the benign neglect policy of all of his predecessors except (now U.S. Senator) Mark Begich, in regards to City Hall’s disposition toward one of its finest city neighborhoods. There is definitely that possibility. In some ways it wouldn’t be such a bad development — Mt. View has always proven itself to be incredibly resilient and self-reliant when it needs to be.
I’ve found that my activism comes in waves. There’s a lot to write about, still. I might not get to any of it until the end of the summer or the fall, but please be patient.
On Memorial Day I biked around the neighborhood early in the morning and captured these images.
The former site of John’s Motel and RV Park. Now owned by the Anchorage Community Land Trust. Two of the old John’s Motel buildings now remain. ACLT, along with Rasmuson Foundation and Trailer Art Center are working to secure funds to build a 30,000 sq ft Multidisciplinary Art Center on the site. I wouldn’t say that effort is going swimmingly, but neither is it stalled. (Full disclosure: I am a member of TAC’s board of directors.) I still believe this project will be one of the best developments possible here, and hoping to be able to report some positive traction soon.
Foundation work is well underway on the Mt View Branch Library project, at the main intersection of Mt. View Dr. and No. Bragaw St. The new part of the building in the foreground will be a new community meeting room, entryway and restrooms. The older part behind (a 1970s branch library that was used as an office for the Municipal Parks and Recreation Dept. for the past 20 years) will be renovated and once again be a library. Work will begin soon on the new Credit Union 1 branch bank on the opposite corner of the same intersection.
A recently cleared lot, no doubt the site of another Cook Inlet Housing Authority project. It’s funny, I must have seen the house that used to be here hundreds of times (it’s right across the street from my dad’s old place on No. Bunn St.) but, like a lot of demolished buildings, as soon as it’s gone it fades from memory.
Many of the 1940s-50s era homes are still stubbornly clinging to life, though fewer and further between than ten years ago when I started living here. Encountering one like this is joyful to me — they depict a simple, straightforward, rather austere lifestyle that’s in contrast with today’s houses.
Mt. View Dr. continues to my eyes to look like a disaster and unexploited potential. It’s very strange to me that as a city we are talking seriously about a $700 million two lane bridge across Cook Inlet so we can build more sprawl strip development on the other side, and a $600 million freeway trench through the Fairview neighborhood, while we let our close-in neighborhood commercial centers deteriorate. Maybe we just don’t get it and never will?
A local business still located in WWII era Quonsets. These were probably purchased from government surplus in 1947 and used continuously ever since. I guess this is “blight” too, but I kind of like it. Talk about sustainability and getting the most out of a light gauge building — this is it.
An alley in the part of the neighborhood wedged between Mt. View Dr. and the Glenn Hwy. These few streets are fascinating, maintaining a more rural/rough/jumbled look than most of the rest.
A small duplex, probably also destined for demolition.
It’s the season of the European Birdcherry, aka Mayday tree. These are in every part of Anchorage and have been classified as an invasive plant since 2005, but they always make me smile at this time of year, with their audacious explosion of blooms that lasts only about three weeks. It has been challenging the cottonwood to be the biggest and most obnoxious local tree.
The new owner will probably cut them all down, eh? This cracks me up, the way they’re playing with traditional landscaping concepts here.