You are here

(New) Saint Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church

-A A +A
1972–1975, Iftukim Evan

Located safely away from the river, on the other side of town, the new church in Lower Kalskag was constructed in 1972–1975. Iftukim Evan, a member of the church, was primarily responsible for the design, which he developed by looking at photographs of other churches. The square nave, measuring about 27 feet on a side on the interior, is covered with a hip roof, while the sanctuary and vestibule at either end have gable roofs. The wood-framed building is sided with a modern textured plywood paneling called T1–11, and the roofs are covered with corrugated metal.

The design and construction of this relatively recent church are probably typical of many of the older churches in this region. Iftukim Evan, with a third-grade education, was not trained as a carpenter, but as operator of the sawmill the construction of the church fell to him. He made no drawings but designed it in his head. The hipped roof gave him particular problems, as he had not had experience with any. The semicircular projection in the center of the amvon (the dais in front of the iconostas) was likewise tricky to design, and although he asked around, no one could tell him how it should be constructed. As a result, the three-step projection is unusual, with the bottom step more oblong than semicircular. Evan used a compass to design the cut-outs of the balustrades of the sides of the amvon. The crystal chandelier required electrification, which Evan was also able to effect. The construction team was composed of the villagers themselves, who donated their time as opportunity and inclination dictated.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland


What's Nearby


Alison K. Hoagland, "(New) Saint Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church", [Lower Kalskag, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 276-276.

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.