Ballard Locks

KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco, chief engineer Lowell Kiesow, and director of content Matt Martinez, broadcasting live from the Ballard Locks in Seattle, on July 3, 2017.
Sprince Arbogast

On July 3, 2017, KNKX took its live broadcast of All Things Considered to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle, on the eve of their centennial. We told stories about the locks' creation, its present impact on the region, and its future.

This audio is a sampler of the three-hour broadcast.

You can also listen individually to each of the stories we did that day.

Courtesy of PEMCO Webster & Stevens Collection, MOHAI, 1983.10.3975

People don't think there's anything old in Bellevue.

So says Sarah Frederick, the collections manager at the Eastside Heritage Center. She also says it isn't true as she points to a picture of a young man with a harpoon gun.

The man was part of one of the last commercial whaling fleets in the country, which made its home in Bellevue's Meydenbauer Bay.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Lockspot Café is your classic fisherman’s bar, a stone’s throw from Salmon Bay and the Ballard Locks. It’s pretty much the first place Alaskan fishermen see when they arrive on dry land. The establishment has been some kind of fish and chips joint for more than 100 years.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Most U.S. Army Corps projects don't include the kind of horticultural splendors seen at the Carl S. English Botanical Garden at the Ballard Locks.

MOHAI, Anders Beer Wilse Photographs, 1988.33.286

The creation of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ballard Locks had a profound impact on the future of the region environmentally, economically and geographically. But that impact was immediately felt by one Native American tribe in particular.

Ballard Locks
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Rich Deline's love affair with the Ballard Locks started decades ago, as he walked the gardens as a forestry student at the University of Washington.  

It persists to this day. 

Opening Day at the Ballard Locks, July 4, 1917. Hiram M. Chittenden -- for whom the locks are now named -- would never see this day. He was alive still, but too sick to attend the ceremonies. He would die a few months later.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District

The Ballard Locks are officially called the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.

The name appears on signs as you come into Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and on the property of the locks themselves.

Hiram Martin Chittenden was a district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, around the time the plan for the locks was finalized and put into motion. And his life story is nothing short of amazing.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Among the many wonders at the Ballard Locks is a fish ladder. The ladder encourages threatened salmon to swim up or downstream, to keep them safe from boats passing through the canal.

The Puget
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This story was part of KNKX's presentation of All Things Considered live at the Ballard Locks.

The New Cool: Live At The Locks Monday

Jun 30, 2017
Industrial Revelation live in the KNKX studios.
Justin Steyer / KNKX

The country celebrates Independence Day on Tuesday, and seeing as jazz is a music based on freedom, why not celebrate jazz with KNKX a day early at our Jazz On A Summer's Day party at the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks Monday afternoon.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A new way of getting juvenile salmon out to the ocean is the latest innovation at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. The Army Corps of Engineers, which runs the facility, says the fish have safer passage with the new design. It’s one of the things they’ll be highlighting this weekend at a Fisheries Day going on Saturday.  

The Ballard Locks in Seattle are closing from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday so divers can inspect structures that divert salmon to the fish ladder.

The Corps of Engineers says both the large locks and small locks will be closed, so boaters will have to wait to travel between Puget Sound and the Lake Washington Ship Canal.