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Ray Building

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1916. 500 Adams St.

A substantial building, the reinforced-concrete Ray Building was constructed in 1916 as a bank. The Harriman National Bank of Alaska opened in Seward in 1915, constructed this building the next year, and closed in 1922. The building also housed the high school from 1916 to 1928 and apartments and offices over the years. In 1933, Lee Vincent Ray (1877–1946), a prominent politician who had served as mayor of Seward and president of the first territorial legislature, bought the building.

The two-story building constructed in the Beaux-Arts Classical style, the traditional language of banks, has two-story pilasters dividing the front into three bays and the side into six. The large proportion of window to wall gives the building a modern appearance, making it more an office building than a temple of finance.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland


What's Nearby


Alison K. Hoagland, "Ray Building", [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, 115-115.

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