Where is the city, which has only one building, and how did the inhabitants live? That is Whittier in Alaska. Probably every resident knows themselves. Not funny, this building has everything: post office, church, shop, and construction office.
The world is full of all sorts of mysteries and interesting oddities, natural or man-made. Avid travelers will agree that even a lifetime is not enough to discover all that the world has to offer. Of course, you can try. For example, there is a very unusual city on the shores of a deep strait, surrounded by high snow-capped mountain peaks. This is not a small fishing village with a couple of dozen lovely wooden houses and boats tied up along the coast. It is a city where all residents live in one building. How did it happen, and how does one live in such an extraordinary hostel?
Whittier is the most unusual hostel in the world
This small town is located in Alaska and is called Whittier. Its population is only about 300 people. When you want to imagine such a town, a small quiet village immediately comes to mind. Here everyone knows each other, the stranger is greeted with incredulous looks and meaningful whispering. In practice, everything is completely different.
Whittier become famous on TikTok
Recently, a video appeared on the Internet that showed this unusual city and the peculiarities of life in it. Thanks to this video, which a resident filmed, people worldwide learned about one of the most interesting cities on our planet—a city where almost everyone lives in one building.
The former military town is unlike any other, and they don’t live in detached houses. There is one home for everyone. A girl named Janessa lives in this only house, and it was she who posted about this video.
Janessa said that 318 people live here all year round. This one building has everything: post office, church, shop, and construction office. There is also a tunnel leading to the school, which is across the street. Previously, there was even a polyclinic. She has now moved. However, the city has a doctor and an ambulance on duty. All serious patients are being transported to the nearby city of Anchorage.
In addition to all this, a four kilometers long tunnel connects the city with the rest of the world. If it were not for it, it would be possible to get to civilization only by boat, plane, or train.
There is another large building in the city, an abandoned apartment building. Now it is empty. In addition, there are work offices, a hotel, a restaurant, a harbor, a ferry terminal, and a fish processing plant.
The history of the city of Whittier
Initially, this city was conceived as a military base for the United States army. Everything was changed by the strongest earthquake, as a result of which there was a tsunami. Giant waves reached 13 meters badly damaged the city. The base was moved to a different location. The civilians were so used to this place that they did not want to leave it. Over time, the settlement acquired the right to be called a city.
Why does everyone live in the same house?
Janessa explained the reason why almost everyone lives in the same building was. It lies in the fact that no one can buy a piece of land to build a house there. All land in the area belongs to the railway. Most people own apartments in Whittier’s main apartment building, with only a small percentage renting apartments there.
Since the video of Janessa came out, it has gone insanely viral. To date, the video has received over 18 million views. Many started asking questions about the city. How is life there, is there a mayor in the city, a hospital, what is the history of the city, what do the locals do there.
Janessa willingly answers all interesting questions
The most popular of them are:
How to find a job there? Whittier is a seasonal town, so it is closed in winter, but a lot is going on there in summer. Other than that, people can be hired by the city government, school, railroad company, tunnel company, and other places.
Does the city have a mayor or city council? Yes. There are a handful of councilors, and elections to the council are held regularly, as expected. Jenessa’s dad is the mayor.
How is the city fighting the pandemic? Only a couple of cases have been reported in the city, mostly among tourists and seasonal workers. The rest of the city handled it pretty well. All necessary measures are being taken.
Is the food expensive? Yes. Many people shop in bulk simply by traveling to nearby Anchorage. In a local store, you buy something that you have forgotten or suddenly needed urgently.
Whittier is a very important port in Alaska. Since the local strait is deep-water, even the largest cruise ships can easily enter here. Tourists visit the town in thousands. Those wishing to visit an unusual city should dress warmly. The average daily temperature here in summer hovers around 13°C. It is also very rainy here. The locals are used to it, they like it.