Thursday, March 09, 2006


Kalakala owner wants to move ferry


The Seattle Times
March 05, 2006

The owner of the dilapidated, iconic ferry Kalakala is seeking help to bring the boat to Seattle's Colman Dock (Pier 50) within three years.

"We truly feel that the ship belongs in Seattle at Colman Dock as it did when the dock was renovated as art deco in 1935 and known then as the Kalakala's homeport," Steve Rodrigues wrote in a recent e-mail to several Seattle historic-preservation groups.

The proposal is one of many floated by Rodrigues since he bought the Kalakala in 2003. The ferry was docked in Seattle's Lake Union and Neah Bay before being moved to Tacoma's Hylebos Waterway more than a year ago.

In October, Rodrigues told Tacoma's Landmarks Preservation Commission he envisioned Tacoma as the Kalakala's permanent home, and the ship — which he said needs $15 million in restoration — being used as a museum, a restaurant and a wedding venue.

Susan Harris, a spokeswoman for the state ferry system, said Rodrigues asked once before to move the Kalakala to the state-owned Colman Dock. He was turned down, she said.

He requested a meeting with state ferry officials to discuss a potential role for the Kalakala in a planned redevelopment of Colman Dock.

Christine Palmer, preservation advocate for Historic Seattle, said her group has taken no position on Rodrigues' latest proposal.


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