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Location: Whittier is on the northeast shore of the Kenai Peninsula, at the head of Passage Canal. It is on the west side of Prince William Sound, 75 miles southeast of Anchorage.
History: Passage Canal was once the quickest route from Prince William Sound to Cook Inlet. Chugach Indians would portage to Turnagain Arm in search of fish. Nearby Whittier Glacier was named for the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier, and was first published in 1915 by the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. A port and railroad terminus were constructed by the U.S. Army for transport of fuel and other supplies into Alaska during World War II. The railroad spur and two tunnels were completed in 1943, and the Whittier Port became the entrance for troops and dependents of the Alaska Command. The huge buildings that dominate Whittier began construction in 1948. The 14-story Hodge Building (now Begich Towers) was built for Army bachelors quarters and family housing, with 198 apartments. The Buckner Building, completed in 1953, has 1,000 apartments and was once the largest building in Alaska. It was called the city under one roof, with a hospital, bowling alley, theater, gym, swimming pool and shops for Army personnel. Whittier Manor was built in the early 1950s by private developers as rental units for civilian employees. The Port remained an active Army facility until 1960; at that time, the population was 1,200. Whittier Manor was converted to condominiums in 1964, and now houses the majority of residents. The City was incorporated in 1969.
Culture: Fourth of July Celebration; Three-Headed Fish Derby; Regatta (April-May)
Climate: Winter temperatures range from 17 to 28; summer temperatures average 49 to 63. Average annual precipitation includes 66 inches of rain and 80 inches of snowfall.
Latitude: 60d 46m N
Longitude: 60d 46m N
Visitor Attractions: Whittier Historical & Fine Arts Museum; Salmon Run; hiking; Blackstone Glacier and Prince William Sound cruises; kayaking; Scuba Diving
Cultural Events: Fourth of July Celebration; Three-Headed Fish Derby; Regatta (April-May)
Contact Organization: City of Whittier
Website: http://www.ci.whittier.ak.us/
E-mail: admin@ci.whittier.ak.us
Contact Name: Ben Butler
Title: Mayor
Street: P.O. Box 608
City: Whittier
State: AK
Zip: 99693
Phone: 907-472-2337
Fax: 907-472-2404
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