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.