Neighborhood cultural center in line for a facelift

The Hispanic Cultural Center and two neighborhood churches are the latest Mountain View buildings to participate in the Anchorage Community Land Trust’s facade improvement project.

Built nearly 50 years ago, the cultural center is home to the Latino Lions Club, weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and a twice-a-month food bank. Its exterior features peeling siding, worn concrete and graffiti.

“We’ve been working to fix it for a long time,” said George Hernandez, president of the Latino Lions Club.

Through the land trust, he said, they’re finally able to make the much-needed renovations.

Kirk Rose, the ACLT’s community development director, said the facade program involves about $100,000 in state funding. It provides participating organizations with limited grant money to jump-start improvement projects, and ACLT has already worked with neighborhood businesses like Hula Hands, Alaska Butcher Equipment and Supply and E&S Diversified Services. The land trust also partnered with the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature to commission the massive dinosaur mural that wraps around the exterior of the N. Bragaw Street museum.

The improvements at the Hispanic Cultural Center will happen on a smaller scale, Hernandez said.

He said his club plans on installing new siding on the front of the two-story building, replacing some bad wood and giving the whole thing a new paint job. Without the community support, he said it would have been very difficult for the 21-member club to do the work themselves.

“Some of our members are not getting any younger,” he said. “Including me.”

Besides the cultural center, Rose said the land trust has also partnered with the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa and the Mountain View Community Church to complete facade improvements this fall.

 

 

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