Goose Creek Tower – Willow, Alaska
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Goose Creek Tower is tucked away in the dense Alaskan wilderness, north of Willow and south of Talkeetna. Owned by Anchorage based attorney, Phillip Weidner, the idea behind this popular private home was something that he dreamt up himself. The eccentric yet fascinating plan came straight from his head. The whimsical structure is 185 feet high, although, if it wasn’t for Federal Air Space starting at 200 feet above ground, it may have been built even higher.
The long-standing misconception about Goose Creek Tower is that it is named the “Dr. Seuss House”—but according to Weidner that is incorrect and to refer to it as the Dr. Seuss house would be inappropriate considering Dr. Seuss’s creations are imaginary, while the Goose Creek Tower is very much a reality.
Weidner first began building his home as a 40 by 40 scribed log cabin with a concrete foundation and basement. When the structure was close to completion he had the idea of using the 12 by 12 uprights to support building another structure on top of the original building—then another, and another, and so on. Depending on how you define the story of a building it is hard to say how many levels there are, but the home does have 8 decks that wrap completely around the structure each giving 360-degree panoramic views.
A steeple occupied the top of the structure until another fascinating idea came to Weidner’s mind. He designed and fabricated a steel support that was eventually placed (using a crane reaching 235 feet) on top of the steeple. The steel support then served as the foundation for an octagon shaped room that now forms the tippy top of the Goose Creek Tower.
Goose Creek Tower is surrounded by 500 acres, which consist of three homestead properties linked together. The home has quickly become one of Alaska’s most recognized architectural designs of all time, and has even grabbed nationwide attention. Today the Goose Creek Tower remains under construction, is located on private property, and is intended for personal family use only.
This distinctive place is not currently open to the public, so if you are interested in viewing it you’ll have only a couple of options to choose from. It is possible to view a glimpse of it from the George Parks Highway or on an Alaska Railroad excursion, although binoculars would be very helpful as the views are intermittent. Your best bet is to hop on a flightseeing tour out of Talkeetna where you may convince the pilot to give you a closer view of Goose Creek Tower.
At the top of the tower, stunning 360 degree panoramic views will let one see for over 300 miles. With views ranging from North America’s tallest mountain of Denali, to Homer, Cook Inlet, and even some of the Aleutians—Weidner’s possibilities for mighty awe-inspiring views are endless.
In the YouTube video below shared by Exploring The Obscure, you’ll learn that the long-term private-use plans for Goose Creek Tower include an inspirational place to write poetry, or even a sky-high viewing room to watch the glorious northern lights on an up close and personal level.
Looking for more where that came from? You’ll love learning about El Capitan Cave, Alaska’s largest aboveground cave that will give you an enchanting middle-earth type of experience. Check out Matanuska Glacier: Visiting One Of Alaska’s Most Amazing And Easily Accessible Places. You might also enjoy reading about the isolated places in Alaska where you can actually view Russia from your doorstep. This historic read on Portage – The Sunken Alaska Ghost Town That Nature Is Reclaiming is also quite interesting.