National Historic Landmarks, St. Paul Island

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1907. Traditional building listed on the National Register of Historic places. The 1907 church was built on the foundations of the previous church, which was constructed in the mid-1800s. Portions of the earlier church appear to have been incorporated into the new buildings, as was customary for both religious and practical reasons. The iconostasis (the interior altar wall) and many of the icons and other articles from the nineteenth-century church were installed in the 1907 building. The church is well cared for and structurally sound, but subject always to the harsh climate and limited funds for major repairs (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of church with picket fence.
Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church (St. Paul Island Historic American Buildings Survey, 2005).
Photo white church with red roof.
Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church, July 3, 1960 (NMML Photo Library).

Priest's House

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1929. Frame structure with horizontal wood siding. Horizontal gable roof with jerkinheads. Design is similar to Government House across the churchyard (Faulkner 1986). [Author note: Destroyed by fire in 2000.]

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

1929. The Aleuts constructed this four-room dwelling for the priest. Labor and material for the structure were furnished by the Natives, and the building is the property of the church (Bower 1930, 308).

Teacher's Houses

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1948. Three houses exactly alike placed in a row. One and one-half story cement [concrete] bungalows with front sidewalks and sod yards. Formerly known as “Employees’ Houses,” the group is informally known as “silk stocking row” [after the silk stockings worn by the female teachers that lived in the houses] (Faulkner 1986).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:
Construction on two of the three “Employees Houses” were completed in 1924 and construction of the third such house began in 1924 and was completed in 1925 (Bower 1925, 143), and not in 1948. In 1935, cement sidewalks and sod were put around the three cottages for white employees (Bower 1936, 49).

Photo of two of the teacher's houses, white houses against a blue sky.

Government House

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1932. Large [wood] frame building with cement foundation; horizontal gable roof with cross gable ends; suffered interior fire damage in 1936. (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of the government house, a white multi-storied building.
Government House (St. Paul Island Historic American Buildings Survey 2005).
Photo of the government house, a white building with green trim and a white fence.
Government House in July 1960 (Baltzo collection).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:
The Government House measures 34 ft. x 56 ft., and was completed in 1932 (Bower 1933, 58).

Fisheries Office

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in the 1930s. Frame concrete building with jerkinheads and outside entrance to cellar or basement (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of two large buildings. Lower building is the former fisheries office.
Former Fisheries Office, on right (NARA).

Company House

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1923. Three-story [wood] frame building with horizontal siding. Some modernization in 1932. Presently the King Eider Hotel. Upper floors are sleeping rooms with central bath; main floor is the hotel lobby which was once the library with built-in wooden shelves with glass doors (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of large white house.
Company House (later the King Eider Hotel; the name King Eider Hotel was re-assigned to another facility during 2007 after the “company house” was closed for safety reasons) (St. Paul Island Historic American Buildings Survey 2005).
Photo of two houses.
Company House, on left (NARA).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

The original construction date of the Company House is uncertain, but in 1922, the company house was enlarged (Bower 1923, 83). In 1930, work began on raising the floor of the old company house preparatory to laying a new cement foundation (Bower 1931, 76). The company house, operating under the name King Eider Hotel, was closed because of safety concerns in 2007.

Laundry

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1926. Two-story cement [concrete] building with horizontal gables. Originally used as a laundry for Company House (Faulkner 1986).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

1926. The old laundry building used by white employees was torn down in 1926 and replaced with a new one outfitted with a hot-water boiler, gasoline engine, and a washer and dryer (Bower 1927, 306–307).

1939. In order to make the living quarters more habitable, no outside laundry houses were constructed for the Aleuts. Instead, partial basements for laundry purposes were constructed beneath several houses (Bower 1941, 161).

Hospital

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1934. Physician’s house and dispensary (1929) and old hospital (1934) joined by modern addition (1974). The physician’s house and dispensary has a front stoop and dormers, similar in design to Company House, and maintains the appearance of a residence. The hospital is a simple one-story frame building. The addition is non-contributing (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of a westerly view of the hospital, a white building on a dirt road.
Hospital, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).
Photo of a southeasterly view of the hospital.
Hospital, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

The physicians house and dispensary was constructed in 1925, not 1929. The new hospital, separate from the dispensary, was completed in 1931 and joined by a modern addition in 1974. (Bower 1926, 142; Bower 1932, 76). In 1935, sod was placed around the dispensary and hospital [Old Health Clinic], and a walkway was placed between the dispensary and hospital (Bower, 1936, 49).

Recreation Hall

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1948. Replaced old recreation hall which burned in 1945. Large two-story frame building. Presently the offices of the City of Saint Paul (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of the recreation hall, a large white building.
Recreation Hall, July 1960 (NMML Photo Library).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

Recreation Hall (City Office and Public Safety Building)—built in 1947–1948 (Alaska Fishery and Fur-Seal Industries 1950, 55; Alaska Fishery and Fur-Seal Industries 1952, 47).

Theater

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1940s. Single-story wood frame building with a single-gable roof and horizontal siding; no windows. Originally a movie theater, then a dance hall; presently abandoned (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of the theater, a wooden building.
Theater (St. Paul Island Historic American Buildings Survey 2005).

Blubbering House

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1930s. [Wood] Frame building with horizontal clapboard siding; a Butler building type of addition runs perpendicular to and away from the blubbering house. Presently used for storage. Needs structural repairs (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of weathered Blubbering House building from a southwesterly view.
Blubbering House, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).
Photo of weathered Blubbering House building from a southeasterly view.
Blubbering House, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

A 32 ft. x 70 ft. washhouse to wash and blubber sealskins was constructed in 1921. The facility contained washing tanks, blubbering beams, a motor-driven wringer for drying skins, and other assorted equipment (Bower 1922, 53). Two extensions were added in 1922 (Bower 1923, 83). In 1930, another 43 ft. x 74 ft. extension was added for washing and blubbering the sealskins, and a foundation was laid to expand the washhouse to allow for greater production capacity (Bower 1931, 74). In 1931, an overhead carrying system was installed in the washhouse to facilitate the handling of skins during blubbering operations. The overhead system was also equipped with carriers for blubber removed from the skins. An electrically operated wringer was also added to extract surplus water from blubbered skins (Bower 1932, 75).