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Kirkland News Room

Survey Results: Kalakala’s salvaged pieces should celebrate boat’s history for future generations

Contact: Ellen Miller-Wolfe
Economic Development Office

Emwolfe@kirklandwa.gov
425-587-3014

KIRKLAND, Wash. – A recent online survey sponsored by the City’s cultural arts program asked for opinions and ideas on how salvaged pieces of the Kalakala ferry boat might be incorporated into public art. The survey presented several scenarios for art and heritage installations as well as potential locations. Over one half of the survey respondents favored a literal interpretation of the salvaged pieces by repurposing them to commemorate the history of the boat, its design, contributions to Kirkland and the region, and activities that occurred on the boat. This preference was supported by a strong interest that the art be located at or near Carillon Point, the present-day location of the former Lake Washington Ship Yard where the Kalakala was built in 1935.  Respondents also suggested that the pieces and historical information be incorporated into facilities the City is building or planning to build. A smaller number of responses suggested that the pieces be incorporated into a new art installation that might be located somewhere along the Cross Kirkland Corridor. A summary of the Kalakala art survey (PDF) and photos of the salvaged pieces (PDF) are online at kirklandwa.gov/arts. 

“Ideas ranged from building a full scale replica of the ferry incorporating salvaged pieces to rebuilding the (navigation) flybridge and roof or upper portions of the boat on a platform overlooking Lake Washington to a more impressionistic approach of projecting an image of a worker on to a salvaged part.” explains Ellen Miller-Wolfe, Economic Development Manager, City of Kirkland.  “A majority of respondents commented that whatever is done with the pieces should enable future generations to understand and appreciate the importance of the Kalalaka.”

Respondents also were asked to share their memories of the iconic passenger boat.  Many reminisced about relatives who had built or operated the boat; others recalled eating at the horseshoe counter, appreciating the elegant wood interior, and remembering the boat’s final days.

A committee with members from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission, Park Board, Transportation Commission and interested citizens and Kalakala advocates will be reviewing the survey results and will begin to contact potential donors to gauge interest in financial support for this project.

For more information about the Kalakala project, go to kirklandwa.gov/arts or contact Ellen Miller-Wolfe at emwolfe@kirklandwa.gov or 425-587-3014.