Pic of the Smithsonian Olympia exhibit. They have a picture, Philly has the real thing. Yet as usual our small time politicos have dropped tha ball on this national treasure.

CA Group Plans To Bid For USS Olympia

VALLEJO, California – A Vallejo group wants to bring a historic, 19th century naval vessel to the San Francisco Bay area. The Navy Yard Association — a group of former naval shipyard workers on Mare Island — plans to apply for the USS Olympia when bidding for the ship is opened in February.

The 244-foot-long ship, launched in 1892, is currently moored on the Delaware River in Philadelphia and is part of the Independence Seaport Museum.

But museum officials tell the Vallejo Times-Herald they are unable to raise the millions of dollars needed to dry dock it and repair its hull and deck. So they plan to seek a new steward for the ship.

The USS Olympia is the only surviving steel warship of its era. It served in the 1898 Spanish-American War, where it was Commodore George Dewey’s flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay. LINK

I have to tell you this makes my stomach turn. Philadelphia is a city utterly dependent on tourism. We have TWO waterfronts that should be drawing MILLIONS of visitors, yet is about as entertaining as a Prince Charles speech. Instead of INVESTING money into what could be a jewel of our city, the waterfront is just a few blocks from the historic district, what do we do? Let one of the star historic attractions rust away until it is headed for the scrap heap.

This is so typical. Philly constantly screws up everything it touches then complains and blames its misfortune on everyone and everything EXCEPT its own piss-poor planning. I’m sick of it. The Olympia should stay in Philly. The Delaware River Port Authority can come up with money for EVERY project under the sun, (projects that the public never gets a say in) yet doesn’t have any money to restore part of its own waterfront exhibits? That’s bullsh*t in my book.

This is Philadelphia under the Nutter administration: small-minded and completely devoid of any vision or planning. What makes this whole situation worse is that the proud Olympia may end up in San Francisco, one of the most rabid anti-military cities in the entire nation. San Fran doesn’t deserve such a glorious piece of American military history. When we visited Washington DC last summer, there was a section in the Smithsonian devoted to this ship and the “Great White Fleet” – the fleet that helped launch America into a world superpower.

I just don’t know what else to say, but this is a disgrace.



  1. drjim says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty sad.

  2. Old NFO says:

    Well, Philly has never really supported ANY type of waterfront museum, and seem to think we tourists “owe” it to Philly to tramp around on a boat that is ready to sink. I doubt that the ship can be made seaworthy enough to actually GET it to Vallejo…

  3. Wyatt Earp says:

    Personally, I would rather see it in San Francisco than see it turned into a damned reef. People don’t have an appreciation of history anymore.

  4. Raptor says:

    Old NFO-

    Not only that, but Philly thinks that tourists “owe” it just to visit the danged city because it’s historical, period. Never mind the fact that the Nutter Administration (and the Street Administration before that) seems to go out of its way to avoid spending money on restoring or rejuvinating the historical areas. But hey, at least we have those $10,000 Solar Powered Trash Compactors!

    Ugh. Remind me again, how long until Mayor Squidward’s term ends?

  5. Randal Graves says:

    It beats becoming scrap.

  6. I agree I don’t want it turned to scrap either. I’d sail it to San Fran myself before I’d let that happen. But it’s b.s. that that is even an option. The ship should be restored and cared for like the national treasure that it is. I’d say it is more important to American history than the frigging Liberty Bell ever was.

  7. Bob G. says:

    I applaud the way you expressed your opinion.

    Philly’s waterfront has gone to the dogs (and even the dogs never show the hell up).

    The OLYMPIA needs to remain in Philly…period.
    ANd with TWO perfectly good DRY DOCKS a bit farther SOUTH of her moorings, you’d THINK it would be easy enough to get her back to sea-worthiness (at least).

    Plenty of former PNSY workers available for restoration, that’s for sure (navy yard laid off over 10,000 when it closed in 1995)

    No excuse NOT to make this happen.
    None at all.

    ROll safe.

  8. Sally Anne says:

    San Francisco has a nasty rep NOW for being anti- military, yes. But uhhh… the Olympia was built there. The history of that area is pretty rich with shipyards. Better to have it there than to lose it entirely.

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