This is Anchorage’s oldest neighborhood—and also one of its most charming, thanks to its mix of quintessential, saltbox-style architecture, a few military Quonset huts, and a selection of modern designs. Even though not many visitors take the time to walk or drive through Government Hill, this is as close to early Anchorage as one can get, since it contains a few of the city’s very first homes.
Born With the Railroad
The Government Hill neighborhood sits between downtown Anchorage and the western edge of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. It’s been around since at least 1915, when the first buildings popped up here to support construction of the Alaska Railroad. In the century since, Government Hill developed alongside both the Alaska Railroad and then the Elmendorf Air Force Base. Along the way, it survived the 1964 earthquake, which caused a 10-acre section along the bluff to collapse, taking the school and several homes with it.
A Diverse Community with Gems
Today, a trip through Government Hill reveals a quasi-gentrified neighborhood that’s rich in ethnic diversity and feels more like an East Coast community than the average Anchorage neighborhood.
Several small parks speckle its landscape, such as Harvard Park, which includes tennis facilities and access to the Anchorage Curling Club. And while the area’s small, once-thriving commercial district now leaves much to be desired, don’t miss Pho Vietnam 4 Restaurant, which has great flavors, a treat-you-like-family atmosphere and a dedicated following.