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Alaska Railroad Depot

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1917. 501 Railway Ave.

The handsome, hip-roofed railroad station in Seward was constructed for the Alaska Railroad. The construction arm of the railroad, the Alaska Engineering Commission, built eight stations along the 470-mile route using a standard design in a style popular for railroad depots across the United States. Three of the Alaskan depots survive.

The one-story building measures 98 feet by 24 feet, with a waiting room on the west end, a ticket office in the center, on the track (now water) side, and a baggage and freight room on the east end. The broad hipped roof with hipped dormer, the deep eaves carried on brackets, and the shingled walls contrasting with clapboarded water table are Craftsman-style details. There is a temporary construction at the west end, which was originally open under the roof. The interior has been renovated, but rooms are still used for their original purposes.

In 1928, after the Alaska Railroad had built new dock facilities at the foot of Fifth Avenue, the depot was moved there from its original site at Adams Street. After the 1964 earthquake, the railroad moved its terminus farther north, and the depot became the passenger office for the Alaska Marine Highway system.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland


What's Nearby


Alison K. Hoagland, "Alaska Railroad Depot", [Seward, 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, 113-113.

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