Remote Alaskan Town Lives And Works In One Building

Jan 30, 2015
Erika Thompson teaches grade school in Whittier, Alaska, a town where most people live and work in one building called Begich Towers. The town is fairly inaccessible with access by sea or a miles-long tunnel with limited hours. "For me it's just home," she says. "For the most part, you know everybody. It's a community under one roof. We have everything we need."

With brutal winter conditions and winds up to 60 mph, Begich Towers has a post office, police station, convenience store and health clinic all under one roof. Thompson teaches at the school directly behind the tower, connected by an underground tunnel. "Some people love it because it can be really social," she says. "And some people love it because it can be reclusive."
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