Whittier, AK may be known as the town under one roof but it should also be known as the best spot ever to fend off the zombie apocalypse. The only land access is through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, a mixed-use road and rail tunnel. The tunnel is only wide enough for one-way traffic. The traffic flow switches every 30 minutes and you just sit here until it’s your turn to go. Seal off that tunnel, set up a webcam to watch the banging themselves against the door and just sit back and laugh and laugh. Stupid zombies.

According to Wikipedia:

The two huge buildings that dominate Whittier were built after World War II. The 14-story Hodge Building (now Begich Towers) completed in 1957 contained 150 two and three bedroom apartments plus bachelor efficiency units. Dependent families and Civil Service employees were moved into this efficient high rise. The new Whittier School was connected by a tunnel at the base of the west tower so students could go to school in short sleeves on the very worst weather days. The building was originally named in honor of Colonel Walter William Hodge Civil Engineer, the commanding officer of 93rd Engineer Regiment on the Alcan Highway. The other structure, the Buckner Building, had been completed in 1953, and was called the “city under one roof”. Both buildings were at one time the largest buildings in Alaska. The Begich Building is now a condominium. Together with the 2-story Whittier Manor, Begich Building houses nearly all of Whittier’s residents. The port remained an active Army facility until 1960. A petroleum products terminal was constructed in Whittier along with a pumping station and 62 mile long 8″ pipeline to Anchorage by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1962.

An unusual aspect of Whittier is that virtually its entire population lives within the 14-story Begich Towers building.

Of the 86 households, 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.5% were non-families. 39.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 22.0% under the age of 18, 2.7% from 18 to 24, 36.8% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 111.6 males. For every ten females age 18 and over, there are 12.9 males.

As of 2014 there were 217 residents of Whittier. Whittier also has a 7-member city council a mayor and 6 members representing seats (A to G). It also has a police department, administration, public safety and public works & public safety councils.

h/t to HyruleanHero1988 for the photographs

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

2 Comments

  1. It’d be interesting to visit there, once. Then again, I am very patient in long traffic stalls, and carry a good book with me, for just such occasions.

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    1. Yeah, it definitely looks like an interesting place. I would imagine it’s a pretty depressing place in the winter. The wikipedia article said that in the offseason the 3-man police force deal with mostly assault and domestic violence calls. I’m guessing a lot of alcohol goes along with that considering how long the night lasts up there in the winter.

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