The Buckner Building once housed the entire city of Whittier, Alaska.
Built in 1949, the compound was was renowned as the “City Under One Roof” and was used as a secret and self-contained military base. The “city” included: A small hospital, a 320-seat theater, a 4-lane bowling alley, a 6-cell jail, a church, bakery, barbershop, library, radio station, rifle range, photo lab, commissary, a huge cafeteria and kitchen, an officers’ lounge, and more than enough rooms for the military and their families to stay in at the time.
The compound was eventually abandoned after the military ran out of uses for it, and in 1964 the Big Alaska Earthquake destroyed it.
Nowadays, almost every room has inch-deep water flooding the floors and is laced with asbestos, mold, and mildew. Everything inside and out has been broken and vandalized. People aren’t particularly allowed in, but until recently, there was nothing stopping people from going in to explore the huge building. (In 2014, local government started cracking down on trespassers.)
As it slowly crumbles and molds back into the mountain upon which it was set, the Buckner Building is a cracked and faded monument to an era of government (and military) ambition that may never return.
Know Before You Go
1. Head southeast on Portage Glacier Hwy toward W Camp Rd.
2. Continue onto W Camp Rd
3. Turn right onto Whittier St
4. Slight right onto Blackstone Rd