House of Wickersham project derailed by governor’s veto

House of Wickersham

The House of Wickersham sits on 7th Street in Juneau’s Chicken Ridge neighborhood. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

Gov. Sean Parnell has vetoed a bill that would have made the House of Wickersham in Juneau the lieutenant governor’s residence.

House Bill 246 also would have incorporated four parcels of state-owned land next to Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks. The purpose was to clarify the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s management authority over the parcels. The House of Wickersham provision was added to the bill late in this year’s legislative session at the request of Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan.

Juneau’s legislative delegation has long sought to turn the Victorian home on Chicken Ridge into the lieutenant governor’s house. It’s named for James Wickersham, a pre-statehood judge, delegate to Congress and scholar.

Egan says it’s a shame the second highest office holder in the executive branch does not have an official residence in the capital city.

“That building is sitting vacant a great deal of the year,” Egan says. “And why not make it a residence for the lieutenant governor?”

In a press release announcing the veto, Parnell did not take issue with the House of Wickersham provision. Instead, he blamed errors in the legal description of parcels adjacent to Creamer’s Field that were discovered after the bill passed. Parnell also said the refuge designation would unfairly burden the property owners should they ever seek to sell.

Recent headlines

  • Arctic Chinook exercise concludes

    Coast Guard wraps up Arctic exercises

    The series of simulated drills was known as the Arctic Chinook exercise and wrapped Thursday morning in Kotzebue, according to a Coast Guard press release.
  • Bacteria that causes botulism.

    Science and cooking collide to fight botulism

    Scientists are trying to learn how to prevent botulism in seal oil, a main ingredient in many traditional Alaska Native foods.
  • Earthquake Simulator

    Earthquake simulator will shake up Juneau

    Alaska's earthquake simulator will visit Wednesday, Aug. 31, to Thursday, Sept. 1, in downtown Juneau giving residents some emergency preparedness practice at an event that promises to shake, rattle and roll.
  • Dan DeBartolo is one of four candidates running for the Juneau School Board. (Courtesy of Dan DeBartolo)

    School board candidate juggles race and Facebook

    The creator of the Facebook page the Juneau Community Collective is running for public office and that created a problem. He had to figure out how to continue moderating political comments on the page without falling into a conflict of interest.


Playing Now: