The California Sunday Magazine — Whittier Alaska

January 4, 2015 1:27 pm

Today the The California Sunday Magazine published the story that I did in collaboration with Erin Sheehy.

You can check it out by clicking here:

Or better yet if you live in California pick up a copy of the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, or the Sacramento Bee. Thanks Jackie Bates and everyone at The California Sunday Magazine.

Below I’ve included some landscapes that give you even more perspective on this incredible place.

The only way to get to Whittier is to drive through a one-lane railroad tunnel through the middle of a mountain.

Nearly all of Whittier’s population lives in this 14-story building.

Much of the property in Whittier is owned by the Alaska Railroad Corporation.

Surrounded by mountains, Whittier receives no direct sunlight for much of the winter.

Because of its ice-free, year-round port and its proximity to Anchorage, Whittier is an important destination for freight from the Lower 48; a barge comes into town once a week. This container barge was delayed by weather; on the day it was supposed to arrive, winds were gusting at 60 to 70 mph, and wind chill was 37 below.

Mountains and glaciers in Whittier Harbor.

The Buckner Building, built in 1953 by the US Army, was once known as the “City Under One Roof.” It housed, among other things, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a shooting range, a darkroom, and a six-cell jail. Said to be too full of lead and asbestos to demolish safely, it has been sitting empty ever since the Army pulled out of Whittier in 1960.


  • Renee Turner says:

    Life is not about the stuff (material possession) we think we need. it’s about quality. These Photos tell me about the breath taking beauty in this area. Brutal? Well life is brutal in different ways, in different places. This was an amazing story. Keep up the God given talent, capturing all of this world. The good and the bad. The story must be told.

  • Ry Edwards says:

    I love the pictures in your projects’ section of the Whittier woodshop workers. Bother the shot with the Marionette in the background and the white hair glowing on the man next to the dust sucker.

    That harbor shot above is pretty magical.

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