Anchorage landmark store closes after 87 years

Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A landmark among Anchorage businesses has closed its doors.

Kimball's Dry Goods Store closed on Nov. 17 after 87 years of operation in downtown Anchorage and a century in Alaska.

The original Kimball's Dry Goods Store was founded in 1902, according to Carl Andresen, the grandson of founders Irwing and Della Kimball.

He said the Kimballs, and their store, resided in Seward, Kodiak and LaTouche before settling in Anchorage. Kimball's storefront, located at 500 W. 5th Ave., opened in 1915.

Decema Kimball Andresen Slawson inherited the store from her parents in 1958 and worked there until her death in February at the age of 95.

The store itself withstood the 1964 earthquake and an effort to bulldoze the building to make way for the Anchorage Town Square. In the end, the town square was built around the store and in 1986, Kimball's was added to the national register of historic places.

Bob Andresen, the third generation to work at the family-owned store, said if current plans hold out, the company will continue to sell sewing supplies to the Bush through mail order. Such orders accounted for about half of Kimball's business, he said.

A sale of the space is being negotiated.

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