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USS Olympia Will Remain Open Following Interim Repairs

(The USS Olympia in its current berth, as seen from Camden, NJ.  File photo by KYW's John Ostapkovich)

(The USS Olympia in its current berth, as seen from Camden, NJ. File photo by KYW’s John Ostapkovich)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The historic war ship USS Olympia, which is  docked along Penn’s Landing and was schedule to be closed to the public next week and possibly scuttled or scrapped, will stay open a while longer at least.

The Independence Seaport Museum, which owns Admiral George Dewey’s flagship, has announced that enough money has been raised for basic repairs.

Capt. John Gazzola  has been on the job as president and chief executive officer of the museum for three months.  He says there was a re-evaluation process that took place to come to the decision.

“Through working with our board, our staff, and our partners — being the Navy, the Naval Sea Systems Command, the National Parks Service, and the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission — we arrived at the decision to keep the Olympia open,” he said.

Gazzola says the museum will hold a summit early next year to discuss the cruiser’s future.  He says the plan is to transfer stewardship to another responsible party.

“You know, a lot of people have wonderful memories of the Olympia and we would like to preserve her for future generations.”

The Olympia served as the flagship of then-commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay, during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The ship was finally decommissioned in 1922.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060.

 

 

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