Non-profit files suit to save Jesse Lee Home in Seward

    The Jesse Lee Home in Seward.

    Seward, Alaska (KINY) - The non-profit Friends of Jesse Lee Home have filed suit against the City of Seward in superior court, charging the home rule city with inverse condemnation, bad faith, and unfair dealing.

    The Friends contend they hold title to the near 100-year-old Jesse Lee Home, an important cultural and historical building listed on the National Historic Register that the City recently awarded a contract to tear down.  

    The Friends are listed as the sole owners of the Jesse Lee Home with the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assessing Department, and the Seward City Attorney advised the Seward City Council that the city does not hold title to the building at their Aug. 24 meeting.

    In the complaint, Friends state that the City has been bullying its members, contractors, volunteers, and funders.  They say the city threatens to arrest them for trespassing on property that they own - and that Seward police physically barred them from prosecuting work on the project.

    As was reported in the Seward media, the Friends coordinator was removed by the Seward police from a scheduled meeting with the Seward City Manager on installing water/sewer lines - and the city denied access to the Jesse Lee Home to senior members of the Dunleavy Administration and members of the Alaska State Legislature.

    The complaint outlines bad acts the Friends allege Seward engaged in, including grossly misrepresenting the project and their intentions before the Alaska State Legislature in order to divert over a million dollars in funding originally slated for rehabilitating the structurally sound building to demolishing it.

    The Friends are asking the court for a temporary restraining order, barring demolition work scheduled to begin Sept. 9.


    More from News of the North


    • Insurance Marketplace

      The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace is open for enrollment for 2021 health coverage through Saturday, May 15. Sign up is at The SEARHC Patient Health Benefits team is available to assist with enrollment free of charge. Contact the team at or call 966-8684.

      at None
    • Sitka Tribe CARES Act Housing & Temporary Shelter Assistance

      The Sitka Tribe of Alaska is pleased to offer Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act need based assistance for Tribal Citizen/ AK Native or American Indian Sitka community households impacted by the COVID pandemic. The assistance available is $500 per household paid directly to a vendor to cover the mortgage, rent, utilities, heating fuel, or boat moorage costs, invoice verification is required and must be submitted with the application. This funding will also assist with those experiencing homelessness with temporary shelter. There is a separate application for this type of assistance. Applications will be accepted until July 31, 2021. Please go to for the application. Or please bring a previous or current invoice/bill (oil,utilities,rent,moorage, mortgage) to 456 Katlian St. for social services with your phone number on it; we will call and complete the online application with you over the phone. If you have any questions or need assistance, please call STA Social Services Department at 747-7293

      at Sitka tribe
    • Sitka Ham Radio Club

      Sitka Ham Amateur Radio Klub - SHARK - meets 2 p.m. the first Saturday of the month at the Sitka Sportsman's Association: 5211 Halibut Point Road. All interested in ham radio are welcome. For information contact Darryl Ault AL7W at 738-4539, or visit the Facebook Group.

      at None