Early Seattle Houseboats: Economy Housing

I have not covered floating homes in quite sometime but I recently discovered these photos from the Seattle Municipal Archives and wanted to share them with you.

In Seattle houseboats originated as cheap housing, anyone who could scavenge logs and build floats could also build their own cheap home. Times have changed of course and in Seattle floating homes have become a luxury.

These pictures were taken during the 1950’s but I think they give you a good idea of examples of early houseboats and what can be built on a tight budget. There is no luxury living here, just basic shelter.

Photographs are courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

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Seattle Floating Homes - January 6, 2010 Reply

I love those old photos. Some of the floating homes are really good looking structures, while others are clearly shanties. It’s nice to still see a few of the little bungalows surviving today among the high-end, three-story modern floating homes.

rubyspirit - January 6, 2010 Reply

A nice look at history.

Ed Bartley - January 6, 2010 Reply

Great look at some of Seattle’s history – Love the old pics. Todays houseboats are not cheap although they do show that you can live in luxury in a small space. We need this concept to spread to other housing types. Great post.

Joann Loos - January 6, 2010 Reply

Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry http://www.seattlehistory.org/ has a wonderful cruise on Lake Washington and Lake Union that talks all about the history of the lakes from prehistory to WWII. The docent had a lot of interesting things go say about the houseboats.

If you’re in the neighborhood, sign up for this tour!

Joann

donna - January 7, 2010 Reply

I read that the original floating homes were built for loggers. Had a friend who lived in a floating home years ago. I missed the opportunity to visit her (we met through a love of ferrets).

Courtney Cooper - January 7, 2010 Reply

I love the Municipal Archives! I have a couple of thes eon my blog, too – very cool!

Vivek Jazz - March 22, 2018 Reply

Thank you.

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