Nestled deep in the Alaskan wilderness is a house…well, not just a house, several houses built on top of each other, reaching up to the sky in a quirky tower-like arrangement, affording that perfect view of Mount McKinley; also known by its Athabascan name: Denali, meaning “The Great One,” and the Denali National Park.
Mount McKinley is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,237 feet or 6,168 meters above sea level.
At over 185 feet tall, the house sits near the junction where Goose Creek and the Big Susitna River meet. It is located approximately 130 kilometers from Anchorage, between Willow and Talkeetna.
As you can imagine, the view of the mountain and surrounding national park is a spectacle to behold, with breathtaking views of the beautiful scenery.
This house was built after a forest fire, which cleared the space of trees. As the forest regenerated and started growing, the owner of this eccentric house decided to build additional layers, up and up above the tree line, to ensure his view of the picturesque landscape was not obscured.
Although made mostly of wood, each story is surrounded by metal decks. The first level of the home is very much meant to be a living space and features post and beam constructions that have been crafted from giant Douglas fir trees.
It has been called the “Dr. Seuss House” by the local residents of Willow because of its remarkable resemblance to structures from Theodore Lesieg’s illustrated stories. However, there is no direct relation to the author.
House owner Phil Weidner calls his structure “The Goose Creek Tower” because it sits near the confluence of Goose Creek and the Big Susitna River. He got the idea for the tower almost two decades ago and started construction in the late-90s.
“It’s meant to be a home, also an observatory,” Weidner told ktva. “I plan to put a telescope on the top of it eventually. Also, probably a ham radio station and call it Radio Free Goose Creek, and broadcast appropriate information to the world.”
For some time, when the house was abandoned and empty with no one to look around, thousands of lucky Dr. Seuss fans flocked to see this mysterious marvel and take pictures of themselves next to this surreal structure.
But this America’s architectural wonder is still under construction and not yet officially open to public access, although it can still be viewed by train; if you ride the Alaska rail line from Anchorage to Fairbanks, you’ll get a good view, or from the air through the services of local Alaskan bush pilots.
The potential of this property is unimaginable: from a cozy family home to a delightfully comical Dr. Seuss fantasy house. There is an observatory at the very top of the house and several stories with curious nooks to explore.
Whether it opens to the public in the future is unknown…but if you decide to have an adventure in the wilds of Alaska, or happen to be a Dr. Seuss fan in search of the Lorax, or perhaps you are an admirer of architectural wonders, this house should undoubtedly be on your list of places to visit, even if all you can do is catch a glimpse of this whimsical treasure, remember what Dr. Seuss said in The Lorax story: “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”
Kailey is a travel writer currently based in New York, but mostly on the move. She loves sharing interesting stories from her experiences with the local culture, food and adventure activities through her writing. When she is not eating french fries and sipping wine, you can find her traveling to different areas, capturing new stories, teaching yoga, or working on her helicopter license.