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Whittier: A Town Under One Roof? 

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When you picture a town in your imagination, a 14-story building is not what comes to mind. But, Whittier Town in Alaska is exactly that! Everything that you may need, including a hospital and a school, is accessible inside this building. The building even has governmental functions. Much different than ordinary daily life, people of Whittier do not have to leave the building at all. Since Alaska is one of the coldest and snowiest states, leaving the building may not be that good of an idea…

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The Begich Towers

The 14-story building, Begich Towers, was built by the US during the second world war. The US Army constructed this building along with another building, a port, and a railroad. The building has 150 different rooms and a school that is connected by an underground tunnel for safety. However, after some time, the Whittier army lost interest in the strategically placed buildings and abandoned them. Nowadays the buildings can be accessed through the tunnels which were opened for civil use. Begich Towers nowadays is home to over 200 people.

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The townspeople get by through fishing and tourism. The town has a mayor, a council, and a small police department. It would surely be very different to be living in a place like this. As if you are living in a nuclear shelter, a vault. The residents in Whittier decided to move to these towers after the Great Alaska earthquake which had a magnitude of 9.2. Almost every building in the area was destroyed, however, The Begich Towers which were built to withstand missiles survived. So the locals had to move here and did not feel the need to move out again.

Whittier Reminds of The Current 1 Trillion USD Project of Saudi Arabia

Having a whole town under one roof reminds us of the ongoing project in Saudi Arabia- The Line. That project also aims something fundamentally similar to this, however on a much bigger scale and with multiple buildings. Essentially, however, The Line project is also planned to be a confined space that holds a city inside. Contrary to Whittier however, it is a very futuristic design. But we can say that they both are very interesting and peculiar.


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