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  • Writer's pictureKyle Sooley-Brookings

The town under one roof

By Barbara Ann Spengler from Arizona & Florida, USA - Back to Whittier...Sun is out...Water is Rough, CC BY 2.0,

There is a town in Alaska, where nearly all residents and town services are located in one building.

Whittier, Alaska has a population of just 272 people.

Nearly the entire population of the city as well as most public facilities are located in The Begich Towers Condominium.

This has earned the town the nickname of a "town under one roof". The city government consists of a seven-member council with a mayor and six council members. There is also the Whittier Police Department consisting of three members. Whittier Fire Department is a volunteer fire and rescue service with mutual aid from neighbouring departments.

The small city has three key departments: administration, public safety, and public works.

The area was the site of a military harbour and a logistics base for the US Army and was built in WWII. The building was designed in 1953 to host the headquarters of the US Army Corps of Engineers. While the military planned to develop a large complex in the area, it had been abandoned since 1966.

In 1964, the area was hit by a tsunami, but the damage was not extensive.

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