Old City Hall circa 1935"Fairbanks North Star, Alaska. Looking northwest at City Hall." Source: National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.
The city of Fairbanks built the City Hall with the help of a grant from the Public Works Administration. After a fire that destroyed several public buildings, the city requested PWA funds to replace an inadequate wood structure that housed the fire and police departments and city offices. “At the end of December 1934, the city purchased a portion of Lot 1 and all of Lot 2, Block 66 at the corner of Fifth and Cushman streets. Following a request for proposals, architect Henry Bittman of Seattle was selected in February 1935 to design the building. On May 23 Warwick Construction received the construction contract. Work started in June and the building was completed and occupied by the end of the year.”
“The people of Fairbanks were excited when Old City Hall was constructed in 1935. The handsome, concrete, Art Deco style building replaced a wood frame building determined inadequate for city functions and vulnerable to fire. For the residents of Fairbanks, a new concrete City Hall signified a readiness to look forward to the future of the town and a step away from its pioneer past. The new Art Deco style concrete Federal Building built in 1933, Main School built in 1934, and new City Hall–all along Cushman Street gave Fairbanks a different look and feel. They represented the conscious effort on the part of Fairbanks citizens to change the temporary, waterfront town character of the community to that of a more progressive, permanent city landscape. Old City Hall functioned as a city hall and fire and police station through World War II and the Cold War, eras when Fairbanks experienced booms in population and construction. Old City Hall served its several functions until the 1967 Chena River flood, a watershed year so to speak, when the community made a transition to 1960s planning and urban renewal and modern architectural styles. A new police and fire station was built, but city offices remained in the 1935 building until 1994”
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for Old City Hall Fairbanks Alaska, accessed on June 13, 2017. Wikipedia Page for Old City Hall Fairbanks Alaska, accessed on June 13, 2017.
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on June 13, 2017.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE