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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sitka in Sitka Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
 

Tilson Building

 
 
Tilson Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, May 16, 2011
1. Tilson Building Marker
Inscription.  This large frame house was constructed as a Russian residence about 1835. Although there has been some modification the building is thought to be the finest remaining example of Russian secular architecture in Alaska.
 
Erected by Alaska Centennial Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 57° 2.967′ N, 135° 20.189′ W. Marker is in Sitka, Alaska, in Sitka Borough. Marker is on Lincoln Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 202-204 Lincoln Street, Sitka AK 99835, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Michael's Cathedral (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In This Place (about 400 feet away); Sentinel of a Divided Town (about 600 feet away); 250th Anniversary of the Bering- Chirikov Expedition (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Emmons House (approx. 0.3 miles away).
 
Regarding Tilson Building. The
The Tilson Building Is Also Known As (Russian-American) Building No. 29 image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, May 16, 2011
2. The Tilson Building Is Also Known As (Russian-American) Building No. 29
Tilson Building is a National Historic Landmark and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 as "Russian-American Building No. 29." The NRHP listing reads in part:

The town of New Archangel, now named Sitka, was the capital of Russia's American colonies. Building 29, which served as a residence for Russian-American Company employees, is the only surviving Russian-American Company building in Sitka. It stands just a few doors from the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and a short walk from the Russian Bishop's House.

Historically, Building 29 was one of many massive log buildings with steeply pitched roofs which served the commercial and administrative needs of the Russian-American Company on this busy street leading up from the wharves. William Ball described the buildings of Sitka as they appeared in 1865, two years before the United States purchased Alaska: "The houses were all of logs, but painted a dull yellow, the metal roofs were red and with the emerald green spire of the church, projected against the dark evergreen of the adjacent hills, presented an extremely picturesque appearance. It was quite unlike anything else in America, and seemed to belong to a world of its own."

Because company life was communal, buildings were large to accommodate multiple living quarters, corporate kitchen, bakery, laundry, and storage facilities.
Tilson Building image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, May 16, 2011
3. Tilson Building
AKA Russian-American Building No. 29
Massive round logs were used for warehouses and common residences. Important company administrative buildings and officers' residences were hewn "so as to leave no crevices, with the internal and external logs so well dressed as to be suitable for painting or papering." Building 29 was one of the latter carefully built and finely crafted structures.
 
Categories. ArchitectureSettlements & Settlers
 
Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and the Russian-American Building No. 29 image. Click for full size.
circa 1887
4. Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and the Russian-American Building No. 29
This 1887 photograph was submitted with the NRHP nomination form. The original photograph is in the collection of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.
 
More. Search the internet for Tilson Building.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 15, 2019, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. This page has been viewed 131 times since then. Last updated on May 15, 2019, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 15, 2019, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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