By kjfitz @ 2011-03-02 10:31:18
The Buckner Building was once the largest building in Alaska but was seriously damaged in the 9.2 1964 Alaska earthquake. It is now just a large, abandoned government building.
Two factors combine to make safe demolition of the building cost-prohibitive: First, there is a potentially dangerous amount of asbestos in the building. Second, the only land-route in and out of Whittier is through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, so debris would either have to go through the tunnel or be moved on ships.
The building is a local hang out for kids, and is often explored by tourists. The safety of the building is marginal, due to the asbestos and questionable structural integrity. Bears are often found inside the building in the spring, and it is full of ice and precariously dangling pipes, wires, and substructure. The floors are almost completely flooded, with at least one inch or more of water on each level.
There are concrete staircases in the building. One is located near the garage and the others are in the middle of the structure. There are also fire exits on both sides, visible to the whole town.
The stairwell leading to the basement is in total darkness and at the bottom of the stairwell is "The Door". Through the door is the basement, although caved in, is still accessible.