After two weeks of demolition, iconic ferry Kalakala is gone

The Kalakala is no more.

The only thing left of the iconic art deco ferry that bears any resemblance to its original rounded-steel hull is the pilot house.

Now sliced in half, the rusted, elongated dome rested Saturday on a flatbed trailer with a noticeable dent, waiting to be delivered to its new owner.

Private buyers bought some of the more prestigious pieces of the boat, including the pilot house, bulkheads with windows, rudder and cargo doors to preserve a small piece of the state’s maritime history.

The city of Kirkland also purchased a piece of the vessel to be placed in a park, said Mike Lano Sr. of Rhine Demolition Inc. Lano was the manager in charge of the boat’s structural demolition.

He said he expects some of the salvaged items to pop up in Seattle for people to view.

“The boat’s completely demolished,” Lano said Saturday.

Once crews remove the steel and debris from the Concrete Technology graving yard on Tacoma’s Blair Waterway work on the project will be done.

“We accomplished it in record time,” Lano said. “It was a huge, big ship.”

The logistics are still being worked out regarding souvenirs for public purchase. Lano estimated some of the salvaged items will be for sale in another month.

“It looks like we’re going to have souvenirs of all sizes,” he said. “Big pieces, smaller pieces and then we have some little pieces that will fit in your pocket.”

Demolition crews didn’t uncover any hidden treasures while dismantling the boat, Lano said, but they were able to save some light fixtures and railings.

“Most of the items had been scavenged over the years,” he said.

The Kalakala plied the waters of Puget Sound for nearly three decades before being retired in the 1960s. It made its final journey on Puget Sound waters Jan. 22 when it was floated into the graving dock on the Tacoma waterfront.

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