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The Seattle Sketcher

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

September 5, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Colony of floating homes a center of attention

Gabi_0905_FloatHome_02

Sketched Sept. 4, 2014

Considering it wasn’t in “Sleepless in Seattle,” the rundown floating home you see above attracts a lot of attention.

As I sneaked in to sketch on the swaying dock, curious paddleboarders came in close, and people on Jet Skis snapped photos with their smartphones. I also overheard a kayaker shouting to his fellow paddlers: “This is the oldest floating home in Seattle.”

While a lack of records make that fact hard to corroborate, the home surely evokes the days when the houseboats were populated by fishermen, mill workers and other blue-collar types.

Today’s colony, by contrast, boasts some of the most sought-after dwellings in the city. They come with rooftop patios, private moorage for your recreational boat and, in some cases, underwater basements.

For a peek at those, consider the biennial Floating Home Tour on Sunday. Unless you or someone you know live in one of those homes, it’s about the only chance to get an inside look at this fascinating community.

Gabi_0905_FloatHome_01

Comments | More in Community, History, Waterscapes | Topics: Lake Union, Portage Bay

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