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Anchorage, Alaska
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Anchorage was carefully laid out by city planners in 1914, originally as a railroad construction port for the Alaska Railroad, and in 1915, the first sales of town lots were held. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing in Anchorage was selected as the headquarters of this effort. Soon a "Tent City" sprang up at the mouth of Ship Creek and the population quickly swelled to more than 2,000. Would-be entrepreneurs flocked to this bustling frontier town, and brought with them everything necessary to build a city. A popular hardware and clothing store, "The Anchorage," was actually an old dry-docked steamship name "Berth." Although the area had been known by various names, the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name "Anchorage," and despite some protests the name stuck. In 1920, the United States government relinquished its direct control over the city, and elections were held. Anchorage was incorporated on November 23, 1920. Growth began in the 1940s, with the construction of Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson, which made Anchorage a major defense center. After Alaska became a state, Anchorage faced a severe housing shortage, which was solved partially by suburban expansion.

On March 27, 1964, Anchorage was hit by the Good Friday Earthquake, which registered 9.2 moment magnitude and caused tremendous destruction. It killed 131 people across southcentral Alaska and damage was estimated at over $300 million (1964 dollars). The continued threat of earthquakes has prompted a limit on the height of buildings in the city; the tallest buildings are 22 stories high. In 1975, Anchorage merged with Eagle River, Girdwood, Glen Alps, and several other communities. The merger gave the expanded city, know officially as Anchorage Municipality. The decade of the 1980s was a time of growth, thanks to a flood of North Slope oil revenue into the state treasury. Capital projects and an aggressive beautification program, combined with far-sighted community planning, greatly increased infrastructure and quality of life. By the beginning of the 1990s Anchorage could boast of 259 miles of maintained trails. Hilltop Ski Area was established in 1984, which along with the Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood and Alpenglow Ski Area gave residents three fully operational skiing areas, Tourism and recreational activities. The city has an attractive skyline nonetheless, particularly with the Chugach Mountains, Cook Inlet, or the oft-visible Mount McKinley (also known as Denali) as a backdrop. From Government Hill, one can have the best view of Mount McKinley. Though space is limited in the "Anchorage bowl," as locals call the peninsula on which the city is located, many parks, greenbelts, and other undeveloped areas can be found within the city itself, making it particularly attractive to nature lovers (to say nothing of the attractions available just a short distance outside the city). Over the past thirty years, however, many of these undeveloped areas have filled in with houses, strip malls, and other development. Nonetheless, there is an enormous amount of land under the Anchorage municipal control: some 1,955 square miles (5063 kmē) about the size of Delaware. The vast majority of this land is located within the Chugach mountains to the east of the city, which also comprises Chugach State Park. - Wikipedia Article: Anchorage, Alaska

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