City museum launches virtual exhibit on Capitol construction

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009

As the 50th Anniversary of Alaska Statehood Celebration approaches, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum has announced the addition of "Federal and Territorial Building: Constructing the Capitol" to its virtual exhibit offerings.

Photo Courtesy Of The Juneau Douglas City Museum, Jdcm 2008.14.039
Photo Courtesy Of The Juneau Douglas City Museum, Jdcm 2008.14.039

This on-line exhibit of photographs document the construction of the Capitol by Chicago-based N.P. Severin Co.

Comprised of 46 photographs, the exhibit includes images of the building at various stages of construction and Governor George Parks raising the 48 star flag atop the completed building on February 2, 1931.

The photographs presented in this exhibit were collected by the construction company's accountant, Louis Delebecque, who only agreed to come to Alaska after the company promised his next job would be in Hawaii.

During the course of the project in Juneau, however, Delebecque met Roberta Gallwas of Juneau. The two eventually married and stayed in Juneau. The display of these historical photographs is made possible through Louis and Roberta's daughter. Katherine L. Smith.

"We were lucky to receive this donation just as we started preparing for the 50th celebration (of Alaska statehood). It gives us a wonderful opportunity to share these photographs with the public at a time when we are all celebrating statehood" said Curator of Collections and Exhibits Addison Field.

"The building itself is such an interesting part of Juneau's history, but what I found most inspiring were the men who worked on the building," said guest curator and museum intern Melissa Gonzalez.

Mike Blackwell also provided assistance with this exhibit.

For more information contact the museum at 586 3572 or visit

• The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is a facility of the Juneau Parks and Recreation Department.

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