In downtown Juneau in 2004, a massive fire led to the total destruction of the old C.W. Young Building on Front and Seward Streets, resulting in a gaping hole in prime real estate, which Juneauites began identifying as "The Pit." This eyesore lasted for over five years.
The "Fix the Pit" effort, initially sponsored by participants of the 2010 Leadership Juneau Program, sought to facilitate a positive resolution to the downtown eyesore. After public testimony, community outreach, and much involvement and support from a variety of stakeholders, the Pit once again made front page news: the Sealaska Corporation announced on June 18, 2010, their purchase of "The Pit."
Work soon began on filling the deep expansive hole, and leveled areas were beautifully landscaped. For the past few years, the location has become a gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
It's exciting for Juneau that this great space keeps getting better! The first phase of construction is soon to begin on the Walter Soboleff Center. The Sealaska Heritage Center will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, August 1 at 12pm at the building site on Front and Seward Streets across from Sealaska Plaza.
Enjoy the nostalgic photos below, and hope to see you at the groundbreaking this Thursday!
Photos of "The Pit" from March 2010:
Photos of "The Pit" from August 2010: