Skip to main content
Twitter YouTube Print E-mail a friend this page> Share this page

Kalakala Art Concept

Kalakala - Kalakala Alliance FoundationIn February 2015, the City of Kirkland purchased roughly 30 historical pieces of the Kalakala, the world’s first streamlined passenger vessel.  The Kalakala was built between 1933 and 1935 at the Lake Washington Ship Yard in Kirkland’s Carillon Point.

The Kalakala was dismantled in Tacoma, WA and the City seized an opportunity to save some of its own history. This Iconic Salvage (PDF-285 kb) included purchasing a wheelhouse, doors, valve wheels, a section of ornament hand railings, the top window section above the car entrance doors in the bow of the ship.

The City of Kirkland’s vision is to repurpose the salved pieces for an art installation that commemorates the historic ferry and Kirkland’s early history as a regional shipbuilding center. tv_camera

A Citizen Committee with members of the Cultural Arts Commission was formed to explore possible art concepts and locations. The committee’s objectives included:
  • The pieces should tell a story about the ferry and the community’s history
  • They could be incorporated in a new art installation, kinetic or static
  • They should help to brand the city and be iconic
  • People should be able to touch them and interact with them
  • Their location or placement should be considered a permanent home
  • They can be part of some recreational opportunities on the waterfront
  • Technology should be embedded into an artistic display of the pieces and help tell its story
The committee selected four artists to develop art concepts using the salvaged pieces of the Kalakala Ferry. These concepts will be revealed at a Public Open House from 5–7:30 p.m. on January 31, 2018 at the Kirkland Performance Center.

Register to join the conversation at