“Did they build it with a crane? Did they build it with a plane?”
There’s a reason such a question would be asked about a private home located between Talkeetna and Willow (as it has been in this Reddit thread): it looks like something straight out of Dr. Seuss.
After all, it’s a house with a 185-foot-tall skinny tower that looks like layers of a wedding cake. Even stranger: the home is unfinished—and has been for the past 15 years.
The house inspired some debate when we posted a video about it on our Facebook page. Some of the our favorite comments:
- “Looks like a combination Swiss Chalet and a Russian church gone crazy.“
- “I’ve been told there is a hot tub at the top of the tower.”
- “This is how you save on property taxes in Alaska.”
And the debate continues on Reddit. Some of the most interesting comments about the house:
- “How'd they build it so high, and is that whole tower structurally sound?”
- “My gut reaction is that the whole thing is wrapped around a ranger/fire tower—the height is about right, and from the shots from different angles, you can see that there's a central spire there.”
- “Apparently the owner built the house so that it has a view of Denali. He did not account for fog/cloud line. So he kept adding floors to the house. The top is actually an observation deck.”
- “Wasilla resident chiming in. I never knew this existed. Next time I'm there, definitely finding it.”
In fact, not much at all was known about the house—not even the owner—until reporters from local station KTVA started looking into it.
What did they find? First, that it had a name: the Goose Creek Tower. Also, that parts of the house were built on the ground and set into place with a crane. And that there’s a basement with an escape tunnel to a safe room.
So who owns this place? Turns out it was built by Phil Weidner, an Anchorage attorney. His vision is to put a telescope in the top of the house. He also wants to put in a ham radio station, and broadcast what he calls Radio Free Goose Creek.
The top certainly offers a unique perspective on Alaska, with 360-degree views of (on a clear day) Denali, the Homer Spit, and the start of the Aleutian chain. The owner considers it “a poem to the sky.” He just doesn’t know when it will be finished.
So how can you see this mystery yourself? It’s possible to view it from the Parks Highway as well as from the train between Anchorage to Denali, though only at some distance. The best option is to check it out from the air. So if you do a flightseeing trip out of Talkeetna, ask your pilot to do a flyover of the famous Dr. Seuss house!