City and Borough of Juneau
Historic Preservation in Juneau
Telephone Hill is located within the original Juneau Townsite and was one of the first areas claimed by early settlers. With its sweeping view of Gastineau Channel and Douglas Island, the hill has been an attraction throughout the areas history of habitation.
This conspicuous promontory is locate on the souther portion of the area formerly known by local residents as Court House Hill. The neighborhood lies south of Third Street and is bordered by Main Street and Willoughby Avenue. The upper portion, north of Third Street, was once the location of the Government Court House until the late 1960's. Today the State Office Building occupies the site.
In 1881 US Navy Commander Henry Glass chose the hill as a site for a military barracks. The land was declared an official government reserve and the site was utilized for a year. Construction of Juneaus first court house took place on the hill in 1893 which prompted the name Court House Hill. The first court house was destroyed by fire in 1898. It was rebuilt in 1904 and remained on the site until razed 60 years later making room for todays State Office Building.
The name Telephone Hill became firmly attached to the area when Edward Webster, owner of the Juneau and Douglas Telephone Company, located his business on the summit of the hill. The business remained in the Webster house until the 1950's. Today Telephone Hill is owned by the State of Alaska whose long range plans call for demolition of the historic residences to make room for a new legislative hall building.