Inside Whittier, Alaska, the Town Where Everyone Lives in the Same Exact Building

Share on Facebook

If you think you’re from a small or insular town, have we got a shock for you. There’s one town in Alaska where there are just two hundred and twenty residents – and the entire population lives in the area’s sole building.

Located sixty miles south of Anchorage, Whittier, Alaska is sometimes referred to as “the town under one roof.” And if you think that sounds claustrophobic, the town can be accessed only by boat – or a creepy one-way underground tunnel. In fact, some residents have not left the town’s building in years.

Sound weird? You haven’t heard the half of it yet.

Small towns tend to be seen as cute, wholesome, and perhaps just a teeny bit dull. But there’s one which is unlike any other.

And it may be one of the strangest places to live in the USA.

It’s obviously picturesque.

  via : Google Maps  

Such a remote area of the world is naturally stunning and unspoiled by us dumb humans. But that’s not why people are talking about it.

Whittier is not exactly populous. In fact, at the last census, the population stood at just two hundred and seventeen. Now that’s a small town.

Even odder, every single one of Whittier’s inhabitants lives in the same building, known as Begich Towers. In fact, this condominium is the only building in the whole town. No wonder Whittier is known as the “town under one roof!”

Named after abolitionist and poet John Greenleaf Whittier, it was undeveloped until the ’50s.

There is technically another building in the town.

  via : Wikipedia  

The Buckner Building is an old military facility which has been disused for decades. In fact, there are now rumors it’s haunted.

On March 28th of the year, the Good Friday Earthquake hit the town. The biggest seismic event in US history killed thirteen Whittier residents with a tsunami, and caused an estimated $10 million in damage.

For six months of the year, it snows daily. For the other six months, it rains – making Whittier the wettest place in the entire USA, with over a thousand times the national average of rainfall.

Residents of Whittier also have to share their living space with every other person in town. We’re getting irritated just thinking about it.

And with such consistently temperamental weather conditions, that must have been tough.

  via : Reddit  

It has since been converted into a tunnel for cars, making access to Whittier (marginally) easier. The underground tunnel is over thirteen thousand feet long, making it the second-longest in North America.

  via : Reddit  

The tunnel is also a single track, meaning traffic can only go in one direction at a time. During operational times, this changes every half an hour.

  via : Reddit  

The tunnel is only open between 5:30 in the morning and 11:00 at night, meaning during nocturnal hours, Whittier is basically inaccessible.

  via : Reddit  

Well, it won’t surprise you to know there aren’t many options – basically, Begich Towers, or … Begich Towers. Not only are there apartments for residents in the condo – but everything else the town needs, too.

  via : Reddit  

But it turns out, Begich Towers is way, way more than just an apartment block.

  via : Reddit  

Many curious travelers want to experience life in Whittier, and so the top of the towers is a bed and breakfast. It’s also the most luxurious part of the accommodation.

  via : Reddit  

The unique nature of the town, alongside the incredible natural beauty Whittier has to offer makes it understandably popular with tourists.

  via : Reddit  

This is where you’ll find the rather petite grocery store. It has all the basic essentials – but for anything particularly special, residents will have to travel further afield.

  via : Reddit  

Whittier residents can also rent videos from the store – with newly released displayed on the whiteboard.

There’s also a church, a police department, a post office, a convenience store, and a medical clinic. Truly, this building has it all.

  via : Reddit  

There are special storage areas. Apartments in Begich are a little on the pokey side, so having some extra room is a must.

For Whittier kids, there’s really no excuse for being late or missing class.

  via : Reddit  

While they can hardly be described as spacious, there’s an odd charm to these abodes.

  via : Reddit  

With freezing temperatures outside, it is rather inviting to snuggle down and watch some TV.

  via : Reddit  

Waking up to this view would be a pretty great start to any day.

  via : Reddit  

There is a reindeer pen right in front of the condo block – just in case you were in any doubt you were in a winter wonderland.

  via : Reddit  

And that’s not the only wildlife available for Whittier residents (and tourists) to enjoy.

  via : Flickr  

There are hardy mountain goats on the glaciers, plus in clear weather whales and seals can be spotted in the water.

  via : Pixabay  

Many residents claim to love the sense of community which comes from living in such tight-knit and remote quarters. In fact, some love the Whittier vibe so much they haven’t left the building in years!