Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 13, 1962):
Constructed between 1844 and 1848, the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel is the principal representative of Russian cultural influence in the 19th century in North America. From 1840 to 1872, Sitka was the Seat of the Russian Orthodox Diocese which governed all of North America, and thereafter it continued as the Seat of the Diocese of Alaska. This outstanding example of Russian church architecture was by far the largest and most imposing religious edifice in Alaska until well into the 20th century. The present cathedral is a reconstruction of the original building which burned to the ground in January 1966.