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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

September 10, 2010 at 7:37 PM

‘Sleepless’ house keeps drawing attention

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Sketched Sept. 8, 12:58 p.m. [Click sketches to view larger]
Seventeen years after “Sleepless in Seattle” romanticized houseboat living, curious tourists still sneak into Lake Union docks searching for the home of Sam Baldwin, the sleepless widower played by Tom Hanks in the 1993 blockbuster.
I felt a bit like one of the tourists when I visited Eugene Nutt and Ann Bassetti at the houseboat where they’ve lived since1988. From their living room, they had a front-row seat for the making of the movie. They recalled holiday decorations and a “big crane with a massive shower head” to produce rain in August.
There are only about 500 floating homes now, down from a couple of thousand in the 1930s, so I’m not surprised this unique community is such an attraction. On Sunday, more than 1,000 people will attend the sold-out tour offered by the Floating Homes Association every two years. I’ll have to make my reservation early for September 2012.
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A view of the dock where Eugene Nutt and Ann Bassetti live. Life here “feels very rural,” Nutt said. “It doesn’t have the ding of a city even though it’s a hundred feet away.”
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Quick portraits of three of the houses on this dock that are part of Sunday’s tour. Nutt said the one on the left was built somewhere else and floated into the dock. The other two are examples of the old, one-story houses more common around the floating community.

Comments | Topics: Lake Union

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