Public tours of an ailing National Historic Landmark ship in Philadelphia will not stop next week as planned. The Independence Seaport Museum has changed its mind and will continue letting visitors check out the cruiser Olympia.
Independence Seaport Museum President Captain John Gazzola says the Museum plans to do routine maintenance and short-term preservation that will allow the ship to stay open for tours.”The Olympia’s a part of our national heritage,” Gazzola said, “She was involved with the battle of Manila Bay. She brought the body of the unknown soldier back from Europe following World War I. She’s a shining example of what our nation was, what it still is, and what it will continue to be.”Gazzola says repairs to the ship will cost about $10 million, including rebuilding the hull.Museum officials plan to meet with representatives from the US Navy, National Park Service and the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission to see if another group could safeguard Olympia’s future. The summit will be held at the Seaport Museum in early 2011.