Photographer's Note

This is Whittier - a relatively isolated community with a population of 220. Whittier is situated on the northeastern shore of the Kenai Peninsula, at the head of Passage Canal, and on the western side of Prince William Sound in Alaska.

Whittier is 96 kilometres southeast of Anchorage and can be accessed via the 4 kilometre long Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel - the second longest highway tunnel and longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America.

There are two huge buildings that dominate Whittier. Both buildings were at one time the largest buildings in Alaska. The Buckner Building which can be seen in the distance was seriously damaged in the 1964 Alaska earthquake. It is now just a large, abandoned government building. Two factors combine to make safe demolition of the building cost-prohibitive. Firstly - there is a potentially dangerous amount of asbestos in the building. Secondly - the only land-route in and out of Whittier is through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, so debris would either have to go through the tunnel or be moved on ships. The building is a local hang out for kids, and is often explored by tourists. The safety of the building is marginal, due to the asbestos and questionable structural integrity. Bears are often found inside the building in the spring, and it is full of ice and precariously dangling pipes, wires, and substructure. The floors are almost completely flooded, with at least one inch or more of water on each level.

The other huge building is the Begich Towers which I will include in a workshop. It is now a condominium, and houses nearly all of Whittier's residents. Most of the town's services are also in the building and the school can be accessed via an underground tunnel.

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Additional Photos by Marlene Fegan (mafegan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 859 W: 98 N: 1396] (8626)
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