Kenai Street, Whittier, AK

(907) 472-2484

Status: Former US Army Complex; Residential Condominium Complex


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By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="">Jessica Spengler</a> - originally posted to <a href="//" class="mw-redirect" title="Flickr">Flickr</a> as <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="">Whittier, Alaska</a>, CC BY 2.0Link


Where Whittier is located was originally designed to be a harbor and logistics center for the US Army after World War II.

The building – originally called the Hodge Building – was designed to be the main headquarters of the US Army Core of Engineers. It was completed in 1957 has 14 floors and is separated into 3 interconnected modules. The Army’s plan was to build 10 buildings on the site – only 2 were actually built including this one – but they abandoned the site after the tsunami from the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake.

The building was not heavily damaged but it was enough to convince the Army to decide to move on. The building was converted into a design suitable for public use. Residential units were built as well as a large commercial center.

Tunnels connected it to the new school as well as stores and everything a town needed to survive without actually going outside should residents choose not to. In 1972 the name was changed to Begich Towers in honor of an Alaskan Congressman who died in the area in a plane crash.

Until 2000 the only way to access Whittier without a boat was a 2 ½ mile railway tunnel through a mountain. There is now a neighboring tunnel you can drive your car through.

The building is very unique in one very important way; almost the entire population (300) of Whittier lives in it. Whittier is known as “the town under one roof”.

The population swells with tourists in the summer so 2 floors of the building were converted into bed & breakfast suites.


Paranormal Activity

No one knows who the ghosts of the tower are – logically it must be related to the time when the Army owned it - but they are described as friendly. While the paranormal activity may startle residents no one has ever been harmed or even threatened.

A shadow figure has been seen moving through the hallways. It is seen most often by people alone late at night.

The phantom sounds of chains rattling and whistling is commonly heard. Heavy phantom footsteps are heard stamping in the hallway; they also occasionally enter people’s suites.

More than one resident has been awakened in the night by disembodied voices in their suite. On one occasion the ghost(s) went into a resident’s kitchen and opened the fridge door; perhaps looking for a late night snack.