This may be the last summer the public can visit the historic warship Olympia at Penn’s Landing, as officials decide the ship’s future.

olympia uss denardo dl Spanish American Warship USS Olympia Needs Repairs

KYW’s Mike DeNardo reports that the USS Olympia — the last surviving ship from the Spanish-American War — will close to the public on November 22nd.

And after that, the deteriorating ship needs to be dry-docked for repairs, says captain John Gazzola, the new president of the Independence Seaport Museum:

“Whether the vessel is deaccessioned, which in museum terms means gotten rid of, or she is retained and repaired, she’s got to go to a shipyard for a repair period.”

Gazzola says the ship’s hull is only an eighth of an inch thick in some places. He says repairs alone will cost $2.5-million — money the museum doesn’t have right now. He says the repairs have to be made, though, whether the ship is scrapped or sunk as a reef or rescued by deep-pocketed benefactors who have yet to step forward.

(photo by KYW’s Mike DeNardo)

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