In Whittier, Alaska, almost all of the tiny town's 200 residents live in one building and hardly ever have to go outside. The 14-story building, Begich Towers, which looks like an appropriate setting for a Wes Anderson movie, was built in 1956 and used to be an army barracks. Residents can stay indoors and avoid the town's extreme weather because the building has, literally, everything. There's a post office, police station (which looks more like a principal's office), laundromat, convenience store, health clinic, and even a video rental store.
Also on the grounds is the mayor's office, a church in the basement, and a bed and breakfast on the top two floors. June Miller, who owns the bed and breakfast, prides herself on owning the "fanciest and prettiest, best interior-designed condos" in town.
The school is actually behind the tower, but is still connected by an underground tunnel so again, kids can avoid the outside world too. It might seem extreme, but with winds up to 60 mph and 250 inches of snow annually, the all-in-one style building sounds appropriate. One school teacher who's been living in Whittier for five years notes it's really just like one big condo association. Totally.
The only way to actually get to the remote town by land is through a one-way tunnel that switches directions periodically and shuts down nightly at 10:30pm. In the summer, thousands of tourists stop by on cruise ships.
Check out a video of Whittier and the school teacher below.
· Let's hope they like their neighbors! [Daily Mail]
· Welcome To Whittier, Alaska, A Community Under One Roof [NPR]