"The Barrack City" Whittier by mht_in_la

Whittier Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 79 photos

Whittier is a strange city and a remnant of WWII. As of 2000 census, it had a population of only 182, but is made of some of the biggest buildings in Alaska. The massive Buckner Building, for example, was once the largest building in Alaska; now abandoned and a local eyesore. Today most of the residents live in another skyscraper, the Begich Towers. Inside Begich you'll also find the city hall, a general store, a laundromat, a barbershop, a post office, and a church -- all under one roof. I assume a Whittier resident can live a whole life without leaving the building.

During WWII, Whittier was chosen by the U.S. Military to serve as an alternative harbor to Seward for the possible Pacific battle. These skyscrapers were built as barracks but were never put to use. When the city was incorporated in 1969 the buildings were converted into condos as we see today.

I arrived Whittier in May 2002 by way of Alaska Marine Highway. I was planning on spending half a day here to walk around this semi-ghost city and also hike the Portage Pass trail before finding some transportation to Anchorage. But the girl I met on AMH ferry agreed to give me a ride straight to Anchorage so I didn't stay.

  • Last visit to Whittier: May 2002
  • Intro Updated Aug 27, 2003
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