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Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites

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Inlet Tower
1951–1952, Earl W. Morrison in association with Donald MacDonald. 1200 L St.

The Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites, previously known as the Inlet Tower, was one of two apartment buildings constructed in 1951–1952 to alleviate the severe housing shortage that Anchorage was experiencing in the postwar decades as the city grew at a brisk pace. The other is the McKinley Tower at Fourth and Denali on the other side of downtown. The two fourteen-story buildings—the first high-rises in Anchorage—shared a similar design: corner windows and strong vertical elements emphasized by a two-tone paint scheme. The development was a partnership between a Seattle contracting firm and locals Al Swalling and Jack Clawson. Like the McKinley Tower, the Inlet Tower was also designed by Seattle architect Earl Morrison. Both were badly damaged in the 1964 earthquake. However, unlike the McKinley Tower, which has a rather sordid history and has fallen into disuse for over a decade, the Inlet Tower has been continuously occupied, first as an apartment building and more recently as a hotel. 

Although the original owners of the two buildings had different corporate names, the use of the same architect (Earl Morrison) and the fact that the building permits were issued on the same day indicates that the same developers were behind them. Each cost more than $1 million to build. While McKinley Tower has long suffered from a less than optimal location, on the eastern edge of Downtown Anchorage, the Inlet Tower and Suites enjoys a particularly advantageous location, adjacent to shopping and dining, as well as a rather upscale residential neighborhood. The building hosts concerts and events on its east lawn and houses a restaurant, the PubHouse, with a strong reputation that draws in both tourists and residents alike. 


Bryson, George. “No More Marlow Manor.” Anchorage Daily News, December 15, 2008.

Pulliam, Elizabeth. “Waiting for the Wrecker.” Anchorage Daily News, October 26, 1989.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland
Updated By: 
Ian C. Hartman (2020)



  • 1951


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Alison K. Hoagland, "Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites", [Anchorage, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 94-94.

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