You are here

New Saint Nicholas Church

-A A +A
1954–1962. 26612 Eklutna Village Rd.

Mike Alex, a Dena’ina Indian chief, and his sons built the new Saint Nicholas Church just to the south of the old Saint Nicholas Church in Eklutna, a Dena’ina village roughly 30 miles from downtown Anchorage (although it is technically recognized as part of the Anchorage Municipality). The church has the same size and general form as the old one: a rectangular main block, gable roof, vestibule, and bell tower. The gable-roofed vestibule and tower support a belfry and onion dome. Both are hewn from spruce and are faithful to the style that Russian missionaries brought to the region. On the inside, the church has some icons from the abandoned Aleutian village of Unga, as well as nineteenth-century processional banners.

The new Saint Nicholas Church reveals the way in which Russian colonization shaped the built environment of the village. Arriving in the area as early as the 1840s, the Russian Orthodox Church played an intimate role in the colonial process. Today, one may view its legacy by spending time at the new Saint Nicholas Church, the Russian Orthodox Eklutna Cemetery, and the adjacent Dena’ina Eklutna Spirit Houses. Before the proliferation of the Alaska Railroad in 1915, there existed eight Dena’ina villages, some of which dated back over eight hundred years. However, with the influx of white colonists and the establishment of Anchorage, the Village of Eklutna is now the only remaining Indigenous village within the limits of the municipality. 

References

Kari, James, and James A. Fall, eds. Shem Pete’s Alaska: The Territory of the Upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2003. 

Jones, Suzi, James A. Frall, and Aaron Leggett, eds. Dena'inaq' Huch'ulyeshi: The Dena'ina Way of Living. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 2013.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Alison K. Hoagland
Updated By: 
Ian C. Hartman (2020)
×

Data

Timeline

  • 1954

    Built

What's Nearby

Citation

Alison K. Hoagland, "New Saint Nicholas Church", [Anchorage, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AK-01-SC039.2.

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 106-106.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,