Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Houk House

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Institution Name: Sheldon Jackson College
Original/Historic Place Name: Houk House
Location on Campus: 801 Lincoln St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1918original construction Unknown
1926-1928destruction by fire; rebuilt Brown, M. A.
1930addition Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete; wood
Walls: wood; slate; plaster
Roof: shingle; shake
ca. 1918other (girls practice house)
ca. 1930other (all domestic sciences)
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (guest house)

Significance: architecture, engineering, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterSheldon Jackson School (1972)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The original building on this site was constructed in 1918. Unfortunately, the cottage burned in 1926. By October of 1928, a similar building was constructed on the same site by carpentry staff and students. The cottage was named after Cora Mae Houk, who spent several years on campus training girls to be young women.

The Houk House was originally used as the older girls' practice house. In 1930, a one story addition was constructed so all could be housed under one roof. During this time, girls were formally trained to present themselves as young ladies. The training was then considered an art, and SJ girls learned to prepare meals, act as hostess, how to sit properly, and walk gracefully--a living reminder of how western values were taught to Alaska Natives.

The cottage is an adaptation of Dutch colonial design and received National Historical Landmark Status on Aug, 7th, 2001.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Crittendon, Edwin B. Survey [Sheldon Jackson College]. [Anchorage, AK: CCC Architects and Planners], 1987-1995.

Clemens, Janet, Chris Allan, Linda Cook, Heidi Siegel, and Amanda Zeman. Sheldon Jackson School. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1972.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections
Government Offices
Other: National Park Service

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Last update: November 2006