To view complete Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House Renovation & Preservation Plan, click here!
Kavilco and Organized Village of Kasaan partner to restore the "Whale House"
Naay I'waans ("The Great House"), Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House and surrounding land is owned by the Kasaan Village Corporation (Kavilco, Inc.). Given this responsibility for the property, Kavilco contracted with MRV Architects in 2007 to perform a condition survey of the Whale House and eight nearby totem poles. In 2010, Kavilco and the Organized Village of Kasaan (OVK) developed a joint strategy to move forward on implementing critical restoration work. Through a grant funded by the National Park Service - Historic Preservation Office (2010-2011), MRV and OVK drafted the "Son-i-Hat Whale House Renovation & Preservation Plan. This Plan was formally approved by Kavilco and OVK in October, 2011.
Purpose and Goals:
The purpose of this Chief Son-i-Hat Whale House Restoration Project is to preserve and protect the Haida architectural form and physical structure of the Whale House located in Kasaan, Alaska. An additional purpose is to preserve and practice the traditional carving and house construction methods of the Haida people for future generations.
The renovation project will use traditional carving and construction knowledge, tools and techniques to renovate the Whale House in the most traditional manner possible to maintain a legacy link to the past. The renovation project will be a reconstrution that is faithful to the house that was originally constructed in the 1880’s and reconstructed in 1938-1939.
All sound existing wood and strucutres will be utilized as carefully as possible, both out of respect to the original carvers and structure, and to minimuze the number of boards and structures that need to be re-fabricated. Further, all renovation activities will adhere to relevant guidleines found in the National Register of Historic Places.
Phasing the Work:
Renovation of the Whale House will be completed using a "phased" approach. Phases will be based on critical preservation issues, recommendations from the project architect, engineer, and lead carver, and available grants/funding. The phased approach will work towards eventual comprehensive renovation.
Click on each phase for more information and picturesPhase 1: Immediate Corrective Action
Phase 2: Complete Work Scope and Sequence
Phase 3: Reconstruct Front Facade toward Water
Phase 4: Reconstruct West Facade
Phase 5: Reconstruct North Facade
Phase 6: Reconstruct East Facade
Phase 7: Reconstruct Roof , Smokehole and Interior Floor Planks
Note: Links will become available as each phase is started, and pictures are posted.
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