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KENI Radio Building

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1947–1948, Augustine A. Porreca. 1777 Forest Park Dr.
  • KENI Radio Building
  • KENI Radio Building

The two-story, reinforced-concrete building housing KENI radio is a Streamlined Moderne gem. Flat-roofed and flat-surfaced, ornament is limited to one-inch grooves in angular designs. A three-story tower at the entrance and beveled corners provide further interest. The wood-trimmed interior contained three apartments, as well as the control room for the radio station. In the era before statehood, radio played a central role in providing Alaskans with information and entertainment.

Cap Lathrop, a notable industrialist, developer, and Alaska media titan, owned KENI, the second radio station in Anchorage, which went on the air in 1948 with the completion of this building. For the design, Lathrop hired Seattle architect Augustine A. Porreca, who had worked on his Fourth Avenue Theater. Like the Fourth Avenue Theater, the KENI radio station headquarters adhered to the popular Art Deco style of the 1930s and 1940s. The building, located at 1777 Forest Park Drive in Anchorage, is just a few blocks from the Westchester Lagoon in what is today an affluent residential community on the city’s westside. It was listed in 1988 in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

In 1998, KENI moved its headquarters to midtown Anchorage on Dimond Boulevard in the Dimond Center. Today, KENI is known mostly for its talk radio. Gregory Carr, whose family had opened a chain of Alaska grocery stores called Carrs, purchased the building and converted it into a private residence. Since its days as a radio station, the home is now surrounded by spruce and birch trees, as well as tasteful landscaping. Only part of the structure is visible from the road. 

Writing Credits

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

Timeline

  • 1947

    Built
  • 1988

    Listed on National Register of Historic Places
  • 1998

    Radio station relocated
  • 1999

    Repurposed as private residence

What's Nearby

Citation

Alison K. Hoagland, "KENI Radio Building", [Anchorage, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AK-01-SC033.

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 101-102.

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