Know Your City
Fifth and D Streets in Downtown Anchorage
The Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall was once the site of the Rendezvous Building, owned by Zula Swanson. Once declared “Alaska’s Richest Black” by the magazine Ebony, Swanson’s real estate holdings were among the most expansive and lucrative in Alaska. The Rendezvous Building housed a hotel, bar, and club. From the 1930s until its demolition in 1971, it was a well-known spot for entertainment and served as a center for Black social life as new arrivals to the city made connections, heard about job opportunities, and fostered community ties.