The oldest steel warship afloat in the world will stay in Philadelphia waters.
The Independence Seaport Museum has been searching for a new owner for the USS Olympia, which played a key role in the Spanish-American War.
Museum president John Brady said the ship drives a lot of traffic to the museum, plus, the Olympia’s in better shape than she was originally thought to be. He said that’s why the decision was made to keep the historic ship in Philly.
While he admitted the ship has a rather “severe skin problem,” he said the USS Olympia has no major structural problems.
“In other words, all of her framing and the structural elements are sound,” Brady said. “The shell-plating, the skin of the ship though, has rust pits forming and every once in a while one will open up and allow some water into the ship.”
Brady said the museum is launching a national campaign to help raise at least $7 million to fix up the ship.
He said the response to the announcement that the Olympia is staying in Philly has been universally positive. His message? Come visit! Or, even make plans to hold your wedding or a sleepover on board.
“We see this as a great tourist destination. People are here for history, they’ll come for Inpdendence Hall and the Liberty Bell, and would see us i think as a great second spot to learn about the Navy.”