Photos: Mothballed Ferry

Posted: Friday, December 19, 2003

Battered and forlorn, the hulk of the ferry-turned-fish processor-turned-potential museum Kalakala sits on the north shore of Lake Union in Seattle earlier this month. Its distinctive round portholes - many now punched out - offer a glimpse into the heart of a ship with a colorful past and uncertain future.

The pilothouse of the mothballed ship Kalakala looks out on Seattle's Lake Union and the Interstate 5 bridge, at top, earlier this month. The traffic flying by on the freeway must leave the old boat depressed as it remembers its glory days in the 1930s, as it zipped around Puget Sound in its Art Deco glory. The Kalakala was launched in 1935 - the first streamlined ship in the world - and sailed as a ferry for 32 years. It then served as a fish cannery in Alaska before being beached near Kodiak. It was rescued and moved back to Seattle in 1998 by a foundation that planned to restore the ship to serve as a museum. The foundation went bankrupt, and the Kalakala was sold to a new owner at auction last fall. The new owner also plans to restore the vessel to serve as a floating, traveling museum.

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