Anchorage bulldozes Northern Lights Inn

September 2, 2017 by  

A number of Anchorage residents were on hand recently to watch as crews demolished the Northern Lights Inn, a structure many consider an eyesore.

When the hotel first opened in 1965, it was known as the Gold Rush Motor Lodge. After a fire in 1970, the hotel was rebuilt and operated until 2002, when it shut down for good.

In September 2016, the city inspected the building and discovered evidence that squatters had been using it, plus it was out of code. The city said it would be necessary for the owners to repair the fire alarm, heat, and water systems, and repair the barricades. Rather than incur these expenses, the owners of the hotel agreed to raze it before December 2017 if the city would forgo imposing fines for the code violations.

Although May was the first demolition deadline, so much work had to be done to remove dangerous materials like asbestos that the operation had to be postponed. It took nearly six months to clean up the building, with workers often using their hands to scrap down the walls. Crews will now have to sort through the rubbish and pick out the items to recycle.

City officials expect the cleanup to be completed, and the lot filled in and landscaped, by mid-October.

There is no word yet on who will occupy the site. When sites become available, officials often create brochures describing the site’s amenities for use by local realtors.