For many years the park has charged a $4 per-person fee for Ranger-led tours of the second floor of the Russian Bishop’s House, the private residence of Orthodox bishops since the first occupant, Bishop (now Saint) Innocent in the early 1840s.
“What we found is that the administration of the fee program was creating inefficiencies that hardly justified the fee collection, which also created an addition burden for our many visitors,” said Superintendent David Elkowitz. “We strive to keep this national park well maintained and available, so that a resource that belongs to the people can be fully accessed by the people.”
Sitka National Historical Park eliminated fees for the Visitor Center and totem loop trail in 2011. The Park is also embarking in 2017 on a new and significant project for which visitors will see results by 2020 – the renovation of the first floor museum exhibits at the Russian Bishops House.
“This will be the first major renewal of the space and displays since the renovated Russian Bishop’s House was opened to the public in 1986,” said Angie Richman, Chief of Interpretation and project manager. “The project will include significant public scoping and consultation with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. The project will start with a roundtable hosted by the Park and is planned to include Clan Elders and Russian America subject matter experts, scheduled for this fall.”
The first floor of the Russian Bishop’s House, one of just four buildings left standing from the Russian American era in North America, has a storied history as a residence for Orthodox clergy, a school for Alaska Natives and an orphanage, as well as the current museum.
For more information, please contact Angie Richman at 747-0132.