American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) - Alaska Section Unveiling of Governor’s House Historical Landmark Plaque
Juneau, 2 o’clock Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
The ASCE Alaska Section and Governor Walker will commemorate the replacement of an ASCE Historical Landmark plaque at 2 pm on February 8th, 2017. The original plaque has weathered and ASCE, with the cooperation of Governor Walker and his staff, are installing a new plaque at a more prominent location on the Governor’s House property.
In 1989, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) designated the Governor’s House an Alaskan Historical Landmark of significant engineering achievement. The Governor’s House received this ASCE designation because it was a project that contributed to the development of Alaska’s Capital. Alaska became a Territory in 1912 and the Governor’s house was the first building constructed for the Territory. It was designed by architects for the US Treasury Department as was the 1931 Federal and Territorial Building (now the Alaska State Capitol). The site was originally purchased for the federal government for a school and teacher’s house for the Alaska Native children. When a larger school was needed a new school was constructed in the “Indian Village.” At that point the site with views of Gastineau Channel and the surrounding mountains was available for the new executive residence. The design was in the Federal Period Greek Revival style with stucco walls and Corinthian columns. As cost saving measures , the stucco was changed to wood clap board siding with one coat of paint and the third floor was initially unfinished. The stucco was eventually applied to the walls to restore the original design intent and the third floor was finished to house guests. Construction started in the spring of 1912 and was completed for the public grand opening January 1, 1913. The building received a major remodel in 1936 which added the current covered entry and the enlarge portico on the south side.
ASCE has recognized two international engineering landmarks between Alaska and Canada:
- The White Pass Light Gage Rail Road between Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory was completed in 1900 and designated by ASCE in 1995 or 1996. Plaques are displayed in Skagway and Whitehorse.
- The Alaska Highway was designated in the 1970’s or 80’s, plaques are displayed in Fairbanks and Watson Lake.
ASCE has also designated one other Alaska historic landmark, the George Parks Highway. The Plaque was displayed in Fairbanks, August 1996.
The unveiling at the Governor’s House will include the national anthem performed by Lydia Smith, JDHS student; remarks and introductions by ASCE Alaska Section officer Carl Uchytil, Governor Bill Walker and Architect Wayne Jensen.