S.O.S – Save The Olympia
While this city enjoys out of control spending on pet projects that benefit no one, an American treasure is threatened with destruction. The U.S.S. Olympia, flagship of the American Navy during the Spanish/American war and commanded by Admiral Dewey during the battle of Manila Bay in 1898. The ship has been docked at Penns Landing next to the USS Becuna, a WW2 submarine for decades.
The old warship has been part of Philadelphia’s waterfront for 50 years and left lasting impressions on thousands of visitors who heard gripping stories of its role in the Spanish-American War.
Now the Olympia – the last surviving vessel from that 1898 conflict – could face an ignoble end as an artificial reef off Cape May if a new benefactor cannot be found.
The Independence Seaport Museum and the Navy have already checked with officials of New Jersey’s Artificial Reef Program on the possibility of sinking the ship, once a source of national pride.
“Another option would be scrapping Olympia,” said James McLane, interim president of the museum, which owns the ship and is adjacent to it at Penn’s Landing. “But the Navy has told us that ‘reefing’ is better because it would allow divers to go down on it and would preserve Olympia.”
The museum can no longer afford the ship’s upkeep, McLane said. At least $20 million is needed to tow, restore, interpret, and endow the deteriorating vessel.
You can help save this iconic ship. Click HERE for more details.