Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Saturday, February 17, 2018

lake union drydock co.

Lake Union Drydock Co. is one of my closest neighbors here in Eastlake, Seattle, occupying a couple blocks on the eastern Lake Union's shore. I'm working on getting inside the facility and onto their docks for closer sketching, but for now I'll be content capturing interesting land/water scenes from the many viewpoints on land.

They've been in operation for almost 100 consecutive years, and are one of the only all-wood docks left in the city. LUDD has mostly been in the boat repair business, but back in the early 20th century they made a few dozen patrol & recreation boats, and even several minesweepers during WWII. [source]

Some charming sailboats moored up on the left, in front of various wooden sheds on docks used by the Drydock Co. Behind is the I-5 highway I wrote about earlier and the upper-class neighborhoods cresting Capitol Hill. 

The Sandra Foss, a tugboat, has been docked for several weeks, presumably getting repairs.
I recently learned that the Foss Maritime business started in nearby Tacoma, when a frustrated person sold his rowboat to Thea Foss for $5 in the late 19th century. She painted it white with green trim and turned it into a business asset; eventually leading the Foss family to own a fleet of tugboats, rowboats, sailboats, etc which they leased out for recreation and industry; today they are the largest tug/towing company on the west coast. Many Foss vessels are still painted white with green trim, as you can see here.

A quick sketch of some administrative buildings, accessible by footbridge, during a drizzle. I enjoy how all the LUDD buildings are integrated with the lake.
LUDD leases some of their dock space to Seattle Seaplanes, where you can charter a flight for a aerial tour of Seattle, as well as for moorage for recreational boats.


  1. Wonderful commentary and sketches. Thanks for sharing.

  2. These are great! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wonderfully expressive sketches, and I also like the subjects you choose.