Begich Towers: City Under One Roof

Whittier is a city in Alaska and the most interesting part about Whittier is this building called the Begich Towers. This is because the city has a population of 272 and nearly all of Whittier’s population lives inside this one giant building.

begich towers house

Alaska is one of the most remote places in the world. It is also the most remote place where Americans live that is not in the United States landmass. However, there are cities in Alaska that are even far more remote than Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. Whittier is one of those places.

begich towers and cars
John Marble

Although the US bought Alaska from Russia in 1867, Alaska was not called a state until the 1950s. Despite its status, Alaska played an important role for the US during World War 2. The Americans built a huge military base in Alaska with a port, railroad, and various facilities.

begich towers close up

The base also had two giant buildings and the base became the sole entrance to Alaska for the US soldiers. After the war ended, one of the buildings was renamed the Begich Towers and developed more while the inhabitants left the other one and moved to the renovated one.

inside the begich towers

In the beginning, the Begich Towers had 14 stories and 150 apartments. The civil servants in the city were moved to the building and it also had a tunnel that connected to the school in the area. This was a precaution taken due to the weather conditions of Alaska which tend to be harsh and extremely cold.

the former building of alaska
Christopher Henchman

The original name of the Begich Towers was the Hodge Building. The name belonged to Colonel Walter William Hodge, who was an engineer and a commanding officer in the army.

begich towers from above
Travel With Me

Nearly a decade after its construction, disaster struck the Begich Towers. The city of Whittier and the residents of the building suffered what was the biggest earthquake in the history of the United States. In 1964, the locals woke up to an earthquake of 9.2 magnitude and the ensuing tsunami claimed the lives of 13 people.

the building in the winter

Today the Begich Towers are known as “the city under one roof.” Moreover, the city of Whittier enjoys popularity as well. The natural beauty of the city and the wildlife attract tourists from all over the world besides the United States.

the building close up with the forest behind