It is not often that we come across a single building dictating the habitation scope of an entire settlement. Well, the town of Whittier in Alaska, with its paltry 200-strong population treads this rare ambit – courtesy of the above pictured Begich Towers, a 14-story building which was originally built as a barrack in 1956.
To that incredible end, the imposing structure houses a myriad of civic establishments and amenities, including – a health clinic, a police station, church, two grocery stores, and of course a laundromat accompanied by a top-floor B&B. The school for children is located at a distance, and can only be reached via a covered tunnel. And, since all of the crucial infrastructures are located in close proximity to each other, the entire building/settlement espouses an intimacy scope of a surreal kind, with townsfolk having easy, walking-distance access to variant public facilities, like the police station.
Interestingly, the ‘town’ of Whittier can be reached by land through only a 2.5-mile long one-lane railroad tunnel, which is blocked during the night time. However, during the summer season, the settlement’s harbor is thronged by different marine-crafts, like sea boats and cruise ships – thus allowing over thousands of visitors. Of course, the winter works quite antithetically to this ceremonial vibe, with the area being often bombarded by over-60 mph winds and 250 inches snow. But still the townspeople continue to live their normal lifestyles, as is evident from a makeshift indoor playground used by kids, and protective boards that nonchalantly shield the local businesses from the unforgiving natural elements.