Lockheed Shipyard, AKA Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company (or just Lockheed Shipyard, was originally opened as the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company in 1898. The name changed in 1959 when the yard was bought by Lockheed. The yard was shut down in 1987 after 89 years in business. With an eighteen acre facility, the shipyard sat on the west side of Harbor Island. Between the 1930s and 1986, Lockheed focused on ship construction.
When the shipyard was closed down, it was embroiled in a terrible labor dispute which led to the owners locking out over seven hundred employees who refused to comply with a new contract that required huge cuts in wages and benefits. The shipyard is, even today, still trying to settle disputes from employees, including those about health problems resulting from exposure to toxic substances.
Although a reopening was attempted (with a new owner), it was not successful. In 1989, the Port of Seattle agreed to buy the site, but it was determined that a repair facility was unnecessary. Locals might recognize the most distinctive feature of the shipyard, a huge green crane. The crane, which was built in 1933, was able to raise up to two hundred and fifty tons. Visible from great distances, the crane is eighty feet wide and two hundred and fifty feet high.
Someone who has worked in a shipyard may find that they worked with asbestos, a flame-retardant insulation material that is now known to be extremely toxic. Extended exposure can cause some very serious and deadly illnesses, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Unfortunately, most people are unable to realize that they have been exposed until they are in late stages of cancer. If you believe you have had ill health effects from exposure to asbestos, please fill out this form.