PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A half dozen groups from here to California have expressed interest in taking over stewardship of the historic USS Olympia, which is now docked along Penn’s Landing.
The oldest steel warship still afloat is open for visitors, but showing signs of wear and tear under the water line. That, paired with a changing mission for its current caretaker, prompted the search for a new one.
“At one time, we were more nationally and internationally focused. We’re now more focused on regional maritime history,” said Captain John Gazzola, CEO of the Independence Seaport Museum.
Since words of Olympia’s availability first surfaced, entities have asked to take her over and bring the vessel to Baltimore, Washington, South Carolina, Texas and San Francisco (see related story).
A local group of volunteers is also interested in keeping the vessel here. Gazzola expects a preliminary decision to be made by the fall. But it could take a couple years to move the ship and make repairs regardless of where she winds up.
For more information, go to phillyseaport.org.
Reported By David Madden, KYW Newsradio