You think your work at home job equals isolation, how about whole town in one building?

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Many of us spend too many hours in semi isolation working from home.   With that comes all sorts of downsides, the lack of exercise, lack of social in real life, lack of well, generally the outside world.

How about if your life wasn't so strange (well it is becoming more of the norm with fewer employed folks and more people cooped up at home)?

What if your entire town lived in one building?  Making your commute to the post office a trip down the elevator.  Kids off to school, that's a 5 minute walk in the building.  The convenience store, it's on the first floor lobby area.  City government, yes, it is in the building too.

Welcome to Whittier, Alaska, population 177 and about an hour outside of Anchorage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naPguX84Amg
 

Jive

New Member
Saw a small write up with a few photos on this place a few weeks ago on hacker news.
Pretty interesting to get a slightly better look into the place with a local.
 

MannDude

Just a dude
vpsBoard Founder
Moderator
The thought of not being able to get home if you don't make it through the tunnel in time would bother me.

I wonder why the tunnel closes each night? Interesting that they geographically close themselves off to the outside world each evening at 10:30PM
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Reading about the tunnel is just as interesting as the town.


Just from reading about it I imagine it closes for safety.
That tunnel is super interesting.  


It's 2.5 miles in length and allegedly the longest in North America.


It was a recent project to upgrade the tunnel and was contested in the Courts about environmental impact. Prior to the road or in lieu of it, access to Whittier would have been via rail presumed to be in that tunnel (i.e. no way to get vehicles into Whittier unless you brought them via train).


Whittier tunnel is a toll road.   Fee for passenger vehicles starts at $12.


It's actually called the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, but no one probably remembers to call it that.


The summer schedule for the tunnel is:

  • To Whittier: Cars leave on the half hour, from 5:30am to 10:30pm.
  • From Whittier: Cars leave on the hour, from 6am to 11pm
All those exits off to the right in the tunnel, they are safehouses in case of earthquake or other disaster.

During most recent reconstruction of the tunnel (1998-2000) workers endured hellish conditions:

"Kiewit claims that workers had to deal with "winds of more than 120 mph, minus 40 degree temperatures and snow up to 43 feet deep" and wind chills that would drop to around −80 °F (−62 °C)."
 
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iWF-Jacob

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Verified Provider
Whittier is an absolutely beautiful place, I spent about a week there once on vacation. The tunnel is fascinating, and was pretty cool to drive through, though the fumes do get to you after a bit.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Whittier is an absolutely beautiful place, I spent about a week there once on vacation. The tunnel is fascinating, and was pretty cool to drive through, though the fumes do get to you after a bit.
How did you as a tourist get lured to Whittier / find it?  Seems quite off the beaten path :)
 

iWF-Jacob

New Member
Verified Provider
How did you as a tourist get lured to Whittier / find it?  Seems quite off the beaten path :)
There's actually a port there (see: http://whittieralaska.gov/whittier_harbor.html) which brings a lot of tourists in via cruise ship, I'm not a fan of the typical tourist thing though -- decided to drive down the Seward highway, and this was one of the places we stopped (though a bit off the beaten path, highly recommended). Went sea kayaking there which was super awesome, plenty of great wildlife to enjoy.
 

nunim

VPS Junkie
There's actually a port there (see: http://whittieralaska.gov/whittier_harbor.html) which brings a lot of tourists in via cruise ship, I'm not a fan of the typical tourist thing though -- decided to drive down the Seward highway, and this was one of the places we stopped (though a bit off the beaten path, highly recommended). Went sea kayaking there which was super awesome, plenty of great wildlife to enjoy.
I've been there as well, while Whittier itself was nothing special, Alaska was certainly amazing, at least as a typical urbanite. 

If I remember, Whittier was the port where we met up with the Cruise ship, I'd spent the whole week prior in Alaska and then it was a one week cruise from Whittier to Vancouver. 

Now that I live in Vancouver, the wilderness aspect is a bit less special, however it was by far the best cruise I've ever been on and I will do it again sometime.  Alaska is an odd place, a different breed of folks, certainly not somewhere I'd ever live as I appreciate my modern suburban comforts. Oddly enough when I was in Anchorage walking around "downtown", I saw  the offices of a webhosting company and this was in 2004 mind you..
 
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Aurimas

New Member
Verified Provider
I guess many would think it is a nice way to live. However, when I think about that I just simply cannot imagine how it works. When you have a different situtaion you have the ability to change your environment but in this case the whole same walls would just start killing me softly :)
 

Hostwinds

New Member
Verified Provider
That is awesome! I would love having things nearby. I like to hear about how other people live and find it fascinating since how I live is very typical.I'm going to look into it more when I get home tonight!
 
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