The “Sleepless in Seattle” HouseboatApr 2nd, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Another Seattle area location that my good friend and fellow stalker Kerry stalked for me a few weeks back was the houseboat where Sam Baldwin (aka Tom Hanks) and his son Jonah (aka Ross Malinger) lived in one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time, 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle. I just re-watched Sleepless last night, actually, in order to write today’s post and was absolutely amazed at how incredibly fabulous the movie still is, almost two decades after it was first released! It’s a classic and I honestly cannot tell you how much I LOVE it. Like LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! In fact, I can still remember exactly where I was when I first saw it seventeen years ago. It was the summer of 1993, I was sixteen years old, and my parents and I were vacationing in Santa Barbara. While shopping on State Street, we stumbled upon Paseo Nuevo Cinemas, saw Sleepless on the marquee, and decided to buy tickets. I actually still have my ticket from that day, in fact, in a shoebox somewhere in my closet. In the years since, I’ve walked by that same movie theatre countless times while visiting the Santa Barbara area and each time I do the memories from that day never fail to bring a smile to my face. So, when Kerry mentioned that she was going to stalk the Sleepless houseboat, I just about died. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to see that place in person! So, I decided that, even though I have yet to stalk the house myself yet, I just had to blog about it. Thank you, Kerry!
In Sleepless in Seattle, Sam and Jonah Baldwin leave their home in Chicago and move into the Seattle area houseboat pictured above in order to make a fresh start after losing their wife and mother, respectively, a few months prior.
In real life, the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat is located in a gated community of sorts in the Lake Union area of Seattle, Washington (actual gates are pictured above) and is, sadly, not at all visible from the street. Typically, the only way to catch a glimpse of the place is if you travel by it by boat. Thankfully, though, as I’ve mentioned before on my blog, Kerry isn’t one to be easily deterred. As luck would have it, there was an open house in the neighborhood on the day Kerry stalked the place and so she was allowed to wander right in past the main gate! YAY!
As you can in the above screen captures and photographs, the houseboat looks almost EXACTLY the same today as it did when Sleepless was filmed over 17 years ago! In fact, the only differences I noticed were that the front door is currently painted a bright red color and that the fencing around the back patio has been changed from metal to wood.
The four bedroom, two bath houseboat, which was first built in 1978, was apparently for sale in 2008 for a whopping $2.5 million, but I was unable to discern if it was ever actually purchased by someone or if it is still currently up for grabs. If you look at the home’s interior photographs on its real estate website, though, you can see that the inside was not used in the filming of Sleepless. Although the interior of the real life home and its onscreen counterpart bear a striking resemblance to each other, you can tell by the location of both the kitchen and the stairway leading up to the second level that they are not the same place. In real life, the inside of the houseboat, which measures 2,075 square feet, is also much larger than it was made to look onscreen. I am guessing that the entire interior that appeared in the movie was just a set that producers had built on a soundstage somewhere.
I am happy to report, too, that the mailboxes seen in the flick are in fact the community’s real life mailboxes and that they look very much the same today as they did back in 1993 when Sleepless was filmed. YAY!
Big THANK YOU to Kerry for stalking this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Sleepless in Seattle houseboat is located at 2460 Westlake Avenue North in the Lake Union area of Seattle, Washington, right next to Boatworld Marinas. Please remember that the home is located in a private community and do not trespass.