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Valdez Museum & Historical Archive

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Events Exhibits Newsletter Valdez Information Gold Rush Old Town Model Project Museum Store Links

Sara Shallenberger Brown

W. L. Lyons Brown Foundation                                           Investor

GCI Communication Corp.                                                  Developer

National Bank of Alaska                                                       Developer

Pioneers of Alaska, Convention '93 

Friends of the Valdez Museum                                           Developer

Phyllis Irish Memorial Fund                                                                  Developer

and many others, at the many funding opportunity levels.

Old Town Valdez Model Exhibit

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The Model depicts 1963 Valdez. 
Please click on the image to see it in a larger version.

What is the Model?
     The Historic Old Town Valdez Model is a 1:20 scale replica of Old Town Valdez as it appeared just prior to the 1964 Earthquake.  The Model includes over 400 buildings and 60 city blocks.  Details such as window boxes, period automobiles, pets, signs, and the town character are now being added.  It is divided into 11 pods along the major dividing streets so visitors can “walk through town”, following the routes that families in Old Town followed for years.
     Great care has been taken to assure historical accuracy.  Buildings were constructed based on original photographs and slides.  Residents were consulted regularly to determine exact locations of everything from garden plots to buildings.

Why was the Model Built?
     The Valdez Museum undertook this project in 1997 in order to provide former residents of Old Town, current residents of Valdez, and others a way to experience, first hand, our community’s past.  The Model has already been successful as an educational tool, heritage project, and visitor attraction.

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Click on the image to see a larger version. 
The Modeler used original appraisal records, photographs and the memories of Old Towners to construct the Model.

Why is the Model Important?
     For those who were born and lived there, the original Valdez townsite is now a memory. Beyond the tragedy of the 1964 earthquake, these memories are of homes, neighbors, friends and community activities typical of a small Alaskan town during the first half of the twentieth century.
     However, for more recent residents and the children and grandchildren of former "Old Town Valdezans", the original townsite is but a theoretical place in time. They may have walked the deserted townsite and been told many times about the old days but they have seen it only in family snapshots or in museum photographs.

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Please click on the image to view a larger version of this aerial photo of 
the Old Valdez townsite. 

What Else Can I See at the Annex?
     We are developing ancillary exhibits and programs in the Museum Annex, where the Model is housed, that interpret the Old Town.  Exhibits include an interactive Earthquake exhibit comprised of an operating seismograph, computer simulations, a shake table, and hand-on activities for children.  A docent program that began last summer brings Old Towners into the Annex as “guides” of the Old Town.  In the future we plan to incorporate the information gathered during the project into a comprehensive oral history and database.

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Please click on the image to see a larger version of the Dolphin Bar as it has been recreated in the Old Town Valdez Model.


Complete chronology and history of Valdez and its importance within the state's history

Facilitated comparison of Old Town and Valdez today via multimedia technology 

Heightened community awareness and pride

Appreciation of the perspective of "Old Timers"

Establishment of a central repository of collected project information 

The Project Needs Your Support

We are seeking private, corporate, governmental and organizational gifts to make this project possible.  The Old Town Model project is a phased, three-year development with a projected cost of $50,000.   The Museum's Board of Directors  granted $5,000 from the Phyllis Irish Memorial Fund to begin work. 

Join us as we make the past come alive!

Levels of Sponsorship & Benefits

Benefits are cumulatively accrued

I want to Help (children and those on a limited budget)        $2 - 24 
Identification in Museum newsletter;  OTVMP picture button
Visitor     $25 - 49
Membership in the Friends of the Valdez Museum: free admission to the Museum, subscription to the Museum newsletter, 10% discount at the Museum Store
Homeowner      $50 - 99
Enamel pin with OTVMP logo
Fishing Vessel Structure        $100 - 249
Invitation to limited attendance events connected with the project
Proprietor      $250 - 499
Name listed and appropriately displayed adjacent to the model
Blockowner      $500 - 999
Identification on front page banner of the Museum newsletter and business card size display ad inside newsletter; invitation to exclusive $500+ donation event at the Annex
Architect         $1,000 - 4,999
Choice of photo feature or business card size display ad inside the Museum newsletter; continuous listing in newsletters over the year; credit in interpretive materials
Developer       $5,000 - 9,999
Website listing and choice of a photo feature or business-card size display ad inside the museum newsletter
Investor         $10,000+
Link from the Museum website to Donor's site; choice of photo feature or business card size display ad inside the Museum newsletter; and photo coverage in both Valdez newspapers . . .or the promise of anonymity
You can also be a part of this exciting Project.  Just e-mail mail.gif (14893 bytes), write, call, or fax the Museum to discuss the many opportunities available.  We look forward to hearing from you!!!!

Stay tuned for future updates as they will be posted on the website!


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Valdez Museum & Historical Archive
217 Egan Drive
P. O. Box 8
Valdez, AK 99686-0008
(907) 835-2764    FAX (907) 835-5800
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Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1998 Valdez Museum & Historical Archives
Last modified: October 17, 1998