More Shakes Island photos and updates on Facebook

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tribal House restoration moving along swimmingly

That's all that's left standing of the Tribal House on the right.  Pretty impressive when compared to what it was just weeks ago.  No floor, no walls, no corner posts.  Just a roof resting upon Cedar some eight decades old.  Spring weather has cooperated and Project Manager Todd White has his crew working like a well-oiled machine, leaving tons of visual progress on the National Historic site's restoration.

During last week's WCA member meeting, White drove home the fact that some of the Cedar, while more than 82-years-old, was in great shape and the project is most definitely "a partial restoration, not a complete re-build."  

“We have a lot of good cedar being removed from the structure and the main beams look fine,” White continued. “We are looking to re-use.”

White went on to say that they discovered a carpenter infestation, including some behind the Tribal House screen.  “Bugs are just a maintenance that we’re going to have to keep up with.

As far as prevention of another infestation, White stated that they're installing a new concrete foundation to keep the cedar off the ground, and a dependable roof system, consisting of not only the cedar shakes, but also plywood and Water Shield to limit any moisture damage to the structure.

While we would not want to flood the work site with visitors, White encourages community members to come down and check out the project.  The island is open.

Overall, all involved seem pleased with the progress thus far, and more help is on the way in the form of more funding and donations.  

In addition to the $450,000 Rasmuson grant received in December, WCA was recently awarded 12 large, Cedar logs critical to the Tribal House architecture from Sealaska.  Early re-con trips to Prince of Whales has White excited, saying the wood he saw was "awesome Cedar."

Tlingit & Haida Regional Housing Authority recently announced that it would give WCA the land adjacent to the SNO Building to construct the shiny, new Carving Shed.  The 4,000+ sq ft property already has plans and partial funding, so ground breaking could happen as early as 2012.  The temporary carving facility currently sits on the property, but will make way for the permanent structure, which will also include retail and office space.

“We had to flip-flop our priorities when we found out how bad of shape Chief Shakes House was,” said WCA's Carol Snoddy on the numerous Carving Shed delays.  “We now see the carving facility as Phase 2 in the Shakes Island renovation.”

Click here to check out more photos of the Shakes Island project on our facebook page.