The Alaska Association for Historic Preservation has recognized Don
Corwin of Skagway, with an award of excellence
for his window restoration work on the Baranov Museum
building. Corwin recently completed a multi-year effort to preserve and restore
the window units on the building. The project took a total of 12 months in Kodiak
starting in 2007.
The first two summers of the project weren't the best for construction
work but Corwin said that with community help, the weather was rarely a problem.
1 :18 "I've been very
The work project included removing each window and window casing and
trim, repairing and restoring all of the wood pieces, and rebuilding each
window. No two windows on the building are exactly alike, so each unit was a
custom job. Original materials were re-used whenever possible. All glass and
hardware was re-used and only a fraction of the wood materials were damaged
beyond salvage. Prior to re-installation, Corwin fitted all window openings
with weather-proof flashing materials to prevent further moisture damage. He
also fabricated wooden storm windows for each restored unit.
-- (Windows 2 :38 "Well, I can
Museum stayed open to the
public seven days a week throughout the duration of the project. Corwin worked
on the building every day of the week from 8 in the morning to 6 at night.
Baranov Museum director Katie Oliver praised
Corwin for both his work on the building and his willingness to interact with
museum guests. Corwin's skill as a carpenter is equal to his fascination with
history. He said he feels very fortunate to travel around the state and to work
in a field about which he feels so passionate.
3 :55 "But its very ...what
Corwin refers to himself as an historical
preservation carpenter. The historical preservation part comes from his
training with the national park service in Skagway. The carpentry part ...is in his blood.
4 :48 "I never planned...
The Erskine House was constructed
in 1808 as a warehouse for the Russian-American Company's wealth of sea otter
furs, also known as the Magazin, its the oldest building in Alaska and the oldest of only four remaining structures
of Russian construction in the United
States. It's also the only building to
encompass the commercial activities of both the Russian-American Company and
the Alaska Commercial Company, the two global trading enterprises that shaped
the scope and direction of settlement, exploration and commerce in Alaska for 100 years.
Museum is operated in partnership
between the Kodiak Historical Society and the City of Kodiak.