National Register of Historic Places in The City and Borough of Juneau
The following narrative is paraphrased from the National Register Nomination for the Valentine Building.
The Valentine building is an outstanding example of frontier commercial architecture made possible by patternbooks and mail order trim, from Seattle millworks in this case. It exemplifies the pioneer Alaskan tradition of quality craftswork.
Emery Valentine crossed the plains with his pioneering parents. He prospected the Rocky Mountain gold fields of the Colorado Territory until he lost a leg in a mining accident and turned to goldsmithing. Valentine in Juneau in 1886 six years after Joe Juneau and Richard Harris discovered gold in the creek which still flows through Juneau.
At that time, Front Street was the high-tide beach of Gastineau Channel. Valentine was among the first to fill in ground along the beach to accommodate docks and buildings. Valentine and others filled in the tide-lands, adding several city blocks east of what became Franklin and then Front Streets.
In 1913, the Valentine Building block was advantageously enlarged to include the prime corner lot at Seward and Front Streets. The 1904 structure not only doubled in size, but its impact was vastly enhanced by the most prominent corner location of two streets rather than only one. Valentine served six successful terms as Mayor after Juneau was incorporated in 1900.