80th anniversary celebration commemorates maiden launch of iconic vessel
The City of Kirkland is honoring the Kalakala ferry eighty years after the boat made its maiden voyage from the Lake Washington Shipyards in Kirkland, Washington. The City’s Cultural Arts Commission is hosting a celebration on Friday, July 3, 2015 commemorating the exact day the iconic ferry launched from Kirkland, the city of its birth. The celebration will be held at Kirkland’s Marina Park, 25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive, from 7 to 9 p.m. Miss Rose and Her Rhythm Percolators will perform jazz music from the 1930’s, recalling dances that took place on the deck of the boat. Learn more about the design of the Kalakala, share your stories about the Art Deco boat that ferried passengers between Seattle and Bremerton, and suggest how the City could reuse salvaged pieces of the Kalakala that it recently purchased. Light refreshments will be served.
The Kalakala was built between 1933 and 1935 at the Lake Washington Ship Yard in Kirkland’s present day Carillon Point. The Kalakala was dismantled in Tacoma, WA and the City seized an opportunity to salvage some of its own history by purchasing the wheelhouse, auto doors, valve wheels, several sections of ornamental hand railings, and the top window section above the car entrance doors in the bow of the ship that incorporates the rounded portholes that are the most recognizable and treasured elements of the ferry.
A committee with members from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission, Park Board, Transportation Commission, interested citizens and Kalakala advocates has been formed to develop concepts, seek artists, and raise funds to refurbish and eventually create an art installation that incorporates the historic pieces the City bought in February.
With opportunities to showcase Kirkland’s heritage on the Cross Kirkland Corridor, the Kirkland City Council recently approved an art integration planning process to coordinate the community input and create a unified community vision for art along the CKC. The process has begun with the release of an RFP for an art planning consultant. Public input will take place in the fall with City Council adoption of the plan slated for December.
The July 3 Kalakala event is supported by SRM Development.