Historical and Environmental Compliance

In accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the National Park Service has conducted a Determination of Eligibility Process for all buildings fifty years or older in the area that will be effected by the Mary Lowell Center. This process is used to evaluate historic significance and determine if any of these buildings are eligible to be included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic District: In the first phase of this evaluation, structures were considered in the context of a potential historic district. On the recommendation of the State Historic Preservation Officer, NPS historians investigated the period from 1903 - 1943, in which Seward developed as a port and transportation hub. Researchers focused on the unifying theme of commerce for the district.

At least 51% of the historic buildings in a district must still be standing to qualify for National Register status. The majority of the buildings did not meet the criteria for eligibility to the National Register and there were not enough surviving historic buildings within the boundaries of the potential district to qualify for group eligibility. The district does include several historic buildings - Brown and Hawkins, Van Gilder, and potentially others - but none of the structures in the project’s area of effect met eligibility criteria for the period of significance. The State Historic Preservation Officer officially concurred that the district was not eligible in 2004.

Individual Structures: In 2007 the State Historic Preservation Officer requested that the NPS consider the Harbor Dinner Club, the Mai Residence and Solly's for individual eligibility based on the period from 1944 - 1958. All three of these were originally evaluated in the Determination of Eligibility for the Seward Commercial District, but since that period of significance was 1903-1943, this later period had not been thoroughly investigated in the district determination.

Individual evaluations for the Harbor Dinner Club, the Mai Residence, and Solly’s showed that these buildings did not meet National Register criteria. After presenting these findings to the Seward Historical Commission the NPS will be seeking formal concurrence of the State Historic Preservation Officer on these individual Determinations of Eligibility.

Compliance Documents:

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Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

Preferred Alternative - 8/31/05 (PDF file 2MB)

Determination of Eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places - Seward Commercial Historic District - 8/11/04 (PDF file 173 KB)

Harbor Dinner Club Determination of Eligibility Summary (PDF file 65 KB)

Mai Property Determination of Eligibility Summary (PDF file 82 KB)

Solly's Determination of Eligibility Summary (PDF file 68 KB)

Last updated: December 19, 2017

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Seward, AK 99664

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