PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The USS Olympia, berthed at Penn’s Landing, has a new suitor a continent away, but the venerable warship needs money whether it’s to stay or go.
The Independence Seaport Museum has already put more than $5 million into the Olympia, a unique Spanish-American War vessel that was Admiral Dewey’s flagship in Manilla Bay and carried the body of the World War I unknown soldier home in 1921.
Dennis Kelly, project manager for the Navy Yard Association in California, says it’s take $20 to 30 million to fix up the Olympia enough to tow it back to the Bay Area where it was made.
The price tag would be a little less to keep it here.
“We were able as a country to somehow come up with the $7 million it took to raise the turret of the Monitor and put it on display,” Kelly said. “It just seems we need to be able to come up with the money to save her.”
Even here, he admits save first, location second.
Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio