Whittier, Alaska, is a town of about 200 people, almost all of whom live in a 14-story former Army barracks built in 1956. The building, called Begich Towers, holds a police station, a health clinic, a church, and a laundromat. Its hallways resemble those of a school or a detention center. One can often find residents shuffling around in slippers and pajamas. The only way to get to Whittier by land is to drive through a two-and-a-half-mile, one-lane railroad tunnel that shuts down at night.