Alaska Community, the city where everyone lives under one roof

Nestled in the rugged Alaskan landscape, the town of Whittier is living proof of man's resilience in the face of the harshest forces of nature.

With its towering snow-capped peaks and unforgiving weather, this remote enclave was once only accessible by boat.

But the advent of modern technology and the tenacity of its residents have transformed Whittier into a unique sanctuary, as evidenced by the iconic Begich Towers.

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The Begich Towers were built against the backdrop of the Cold War between 1953 and 1957 and initially served as a strategic outpost.

These imposing structures were born out of the need for military logistics and were prepared to withstand the most extreme conditions.

Little did the architects know that these towers would one day become the beating heart of a thriving community.

Whittier's Begich Towers

Today, Whittier's Begich Towers serve as a clear example of the city's history, but also a symbol of its resilience and adaptability.

With just one unit housing nearly 85% of the city's 200 residents, the towers have become more than just a place to live, they are a model of exemplary community living.

Imagine waking up every day surrounded by familiar faces like family, friends, and teachers all living under one roof.

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This is the reality for residents of Begich Towers, where bonds of togetherness are forged in the melting pot of shared experiences.

From the smallest employee to the owner of the building, everyone plays a role in daily life within these walls.

But what really sets Begich Towers apart is its self-contained ecosystem. Within its borders lie all the amenities one could need, from basic services like a police station and a grocery store to community spaces like a church and a laundromat.

Even Whittier School is seamlessly integrated and connected to the towers by a tunnel, so students don't have to brave the elements during the harsh winter months.

For Whittier residents, living in Begich Towers is not just a matter of convenience, but a matter of survival.

The region's unpredictable weather, characterized by high winds and snowfall, makes travel outside the city nearly impossible.

In the absence of easy transportation, the towers provide a refuge from the elements and provide safety and security in the midst of the storm.

In fact, the history of Begich Towers is intertwined with that of Whittier itself, a city born of military necessity and transformed by the resilience of its people.

What began as a strategic outpost during wartime has grown into a vibrant community where neighbors become family and adversity breeds solidarity.

Anna Harden

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