[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he building formerly known as the Thane Ore House (4400 Thane Road) in Juneau, Alaska is scheduled to be razed through a controlled burn over the weekend (November 24-25, 2018) as part of a unique training exercise for the Capital City Fire and Rescue department. Permitting to perform a live fire training on the city-owned property was issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation on November 13, 2018.
The building sits on waterfront land owned by the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) which Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) is leasing under a 35-year land lease agreement that was secured in 2016 to develop a cultural immersion park. Although the original plan was for the building to be restored in the style of a traditional longhouse, a structural engineer’s report completed by PND Engineers deemed the building to be unsalvageable. Since then, Tlingit & Haida has been performing site cleanup for the demolition of the building.
In addition to the land lease, Tlingit & Haida also secured a sublease on an adjacent property with AJT Mining Properties owned by AVISTA Corporation.
Once the building has been cleared from the property, plans for construction can begin. A feasibility study completed in 2017 and funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration provided a comprehensive report on the viability of the cultural immersion park project, estimated construction costs and conceptual plans. Current plans are to construct a new building and retrofit an existing building to house a restaurant with a performance stage, gift shop, cultural exhibit, carving shed and covered stands to provide interactive demonstrations to visitors on the traditional art of basket weaving and carving canoes, paddles, masks, and totem poles.
With construction costs estimated to be $7 million, Tlingit & Haida’s main focus will be to develop a funding strategy that identifies grants, private endowments, and fundraising opportunities to help cover the construction costs with a targeted completion date of the summer of 2020.
Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa (Thank You) to the City & Borough of Juneau, Capital City Fire and Rescue Department, Thane Neighborhood Association, and all Juneau community members who continue to support the Tlingit & Haida Cultural Immersion Park.
If you would like to support the Tlingit & Haida Cultural Immersion Park project, please consider making a donation.