You are here

Brown and Hawkins Store

-A A +A
1904-c. 1915. 205–209 Fourth Ave.

The Brown and Hawkins Store was built by accretion and today reveals its growth from its founding in the earliest days of Seward. The store was established in 1903 on this site in a previous one-story building; the first part of this store was constructed in 1904. Theodore William Hawkins and Charles E. Brown had met in Valdez, where they opened a general merchandise store together. In 1903, they moved to the new town of Seward. Furnishing goods to miners, fishermen, and railroad people, Brown and Hawkins also founded the Bank of Seward, originally located in their store. Brown was part owner in a steamship company, and Hawkins was president of the Independence Mine north of Anchorage. Brown moved to Anchorage and opened a store there in 1915; it closed in 1926. Hawkins operated the Seward store until his death in 1946, and it has remained in the family since.

The building constructed in 1904 was a two-story, wood-framed structure with large display windows flanking a central, recessed entrance. Brown and Hawkins acquired a one-story building next door (north, right) and in 1909 had a second floor added with a single false front across the two buildings. It also had a balcony, supported by thin columns, that extended over the sidewalk.

Some time between 1911 and 1915 Brown and Hawkins acquired the one-story building on the other side for use as a hardware department. A few modifications were made to that building, including the installation of a balcony.

The building has been severely altered, but even in its evolved form, it is the best evidence of Seward's original commercial strip.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland


What's Nearby


Alison K. Hoagland, "Brown and Hawkins Store", [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.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,