The historic ferry Kalakala, which spent decades carrying passengers throughout Puget Sound and was later scrapped when attempts to save it failed, could soon live on as public art in Kirkland.

The City of Kirkland purchased 30 pieces of the vessel for about $60,000 after it was dismantled in 2015, and solicited concepts from 28 artists across the country. A committee narrowed the list to four ideas, which will be revealed during a public meeting, Wednesday evening.

“All of them have that opportunity of people, children, experiencing them by walking through them, walking up and down in them, very playful,” said Ellen Miller-Wolfe, Economic Development Manager for the City of Kirkland.

One design shows what looks like a spaceship, ready for lift-off. Another concept would turn the parts into a giant bird.

The Kalakala, with its distinctive portholes and curved profile, was built in Kirkland in the 1930s when shipyards lined the waterfront. The art installation could be placed along the water or in another of the city’s parks, Miller-Wolfe said.

The ferry Kalakala back in its glory.

For now, the pieces remain in a storage yard in Bothell, while the City of Kirkland figures out what to do with them.

Kirkland could partner with private donors to fund the art project, Miller-Wolfe said. The city council would likely play a role in approving funds for the final design.

More info on the project here.

The ferry Kalakala is towed (Credit: KING)