Whittier, Alaska in Whittier, Alaska
The small city of Whittier, Alaska has a only two large buildings, one is abandoned and frequented by bears, while the other houses almost all of the city’s population but neither can be reached without first passing through the longest tunnel in North America (either by car or train).
Named after a nearby glacier, the city of Whittier was established in World War II as a military supply post (originally named Camp Sullivan). American soldiers arriving to Alaska would port at the camp before moving out. Other than the sea port, the only way into or out of what is now Whittier is the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, a 13,000 foot tunnel that runs right under an entire mountain. The military presence remained in the city until 1960, when it became a fishing port all its own.
Two massive structures left behind by the military dominate the city skyline and are known as the Buckner Building and Begich Towers respectively. The former has been abandoned due to structural damage caused by an earthquake in the 1960’s and a deadly asbestos problem, but the latter is still in use as the city’s central accommodation. The building is mainly filled with privately owned condominiums that house almost all of Whittier’s population, reserving just the top and ground floors for commercial space.
For such a small city, Whittier packs a number of singular features into one place. Oh and it is also surrounding by stunning natural vistas. There is that as well.