The City and Borough of Juneau is a unified municipality located on the Gastineau Channel in the panhandle of the U.S. state of Alaska. It has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of the then-
The area of Juneau is larger than that of Rhode Island and Delaware individually and almost as large as the two states combined. Downtown Juneau is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2000 census, the City and Borough had a population of 30,711. The U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 population estimate for the City and Borough was 30,988.
Juneau is named after gold prospector Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-
Downtown Juneau sits at sea level, with tides averaging 16(5 m), below steep mountains about 3,500(1,100 m) to 4,000(1,200 m) high. Atop these mountains is the Juneau Icefield, a large ice mass from which about 30 glaciers flow; two of these, the Mendenhall Glacier and the Lemon Creek Glacier, are visible from the local road system; the Mendenhall glacier has been generally retreating; its front face is declining both in width and height.
The current Alaska State Capitol is an office building in downtown Juneau, originally built as the Federal and Territorial Building in 1931. Originally housing federal government offices, the federal courthouse, and a post office, it became the home of the Alaska Legislature and the offices for the governor of Alaska and lieutenant governor of Alaska. Through the years, there has been discussion on relocating the seat of state government and building a new capitol, without significant development.
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