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Contact: Ben Hayes, 907-983-9206
Skagway – This week the National Park Service celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Earlier this year, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park completed the restoration of two historic buildings: the Jeff. Smiths Parlor Museum and the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Administration Building. Join us for a free open house at Jeff. Smiths Parlor on Friday, October 14 from 1pm to 4 pm.
At the open houseon Friday, you can share your stories and memories of "Soapy's" as you explore the recently restored and reopened historic museum. Learn about the building restoration and artifact preservation efforts over the last 8 years. Park staff, including Cory Thole, Scott Logan, Lyn Rhodes, and Michelle Harris as well as community member Cori Giacomazzi will be on hand to talk about their roles in bringing the building back to life.
The restoration of the White Pass & Yukon Route Administration Building was also completed this year. Rescued from demolition in 1971, the Administration Building became the park headquarters in 1984 following a two year restoration. Despite the initial efforts, several areas of the building exterior remained unrestored. The final restoration project was completed this summer with removal of lead paint, refurbishment of wood and metal architectural features, and a fresh coat of paint on the east side of the building.
Skagway directly benefits from the NHPA by recognition as a National Historic Landmark District, helping to preserve many Gold Rush era buildings. Enacted on October 15, 1966, the NHPA created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and State Historic Preservation Offices. The NHPA brought recognition to thousands of America’s noteworthy historic buildings and sites, set a national standard for restoration, and provided millions of dollars to promote preservation in the private sector through tax incentives. Fifty years after it was signed into law, the National Historic Preservation Act remains a cornerstone of American historic preservation.