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Anne Pollnow, chairwoman of the Sitka Historic Preservation Commission, said being on the list is a mixed blessing. On one hand, the properties are in danger of being lost. On the other hand, she said being on the list can help them be saved.
“There’s opportunities for grant funding. Not only through the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation, but it’s recognized through national agencies that these properties need help.”
Money is on the way from the state to help restore ANB Hall. The Sage Building is on the list in part because it’s still owned by Sheldon Jackson College. The college closed in 2007 and the future of its properties is uncertain.
And Pollnow says Totem Square, which features a large totem pole, has made the list because of a state plan to renovate the grounds it sits on. Pollnow says that land is considered part of the Pioneer Home grounds, and is managed by the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services.
“Originally, the state was just going to take the pole down,” she said. “The Sitka Historic Preservation Commission came forward and said ‘We can’t have Totem Square without a totem pole.’ This pole is part of the National Register (of Historic Places) nomination, and it is significant.”
Two other Southeast properties are on the list, both in Saxman: The Chief Kashakes House is number 1, and Totem Row is number 5.
The annual list is distributed by the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation.
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