Saturday, 19 January 2013

Alaska’s Abandoned Igloo City Hotel

Even in the chilly Alaskan heartland, this isn’t quite what you expect. A giant igloo. Situated on the George Parks Highway, 180 miles out of Anchorage on the route towards Fairbanks, Igloo City as it is known stands out like the proverbial sore thumb. It has become something of a tourist attraction in its own right.

You may not have to guess when the Igloo Hotel was but as the 1970s are generally regarded as the decade that style forgot there aren’t any prizes if that was your first conjecture. Someone, apparently, thought that aping the Inuit tradition of igloo building would be a great idea for a hotel. Whether they simultaneously had the idea to build a giant tepee hotel in a Lakota community is lost to history.

Yet this grand plan never came to final fruition. The four storey hotel was never finished, a victim of its builder’s failure to follow building codes or ran out of money. Or something. As it was too expensive to tear down and start again it has been abandoned to the Alaskan elements.

Inside, you can see how the building was progressing before the giant igloo was abandoned. Although Igloo City’s ownership has passed through several hands since the 1970s it seems that it has never been seen as viable enough by the banks for loans to be granted. At the moment it is locked up and becoming slowly more dilapidated with time.

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