p r e s e r v e . o l y m p i a

the solution

In preservation on September 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm

The most immediate need of the USS Olympia is funding.

Preservationists, historians and others interested in the survival of the Olympia should be aware that when Congress authorized the US Navy to release the Olympia to an outside organization for preservation in 1957, it stipulated that preservation should be done at no cost to the government. Consequently, without further Congressional action to reverse that decision, the Olympia will not receive federal funding. With the current funding model, private, corporate and municipal donations must be used to pay for the ship’s stabilization, restoration and operation.

Because of this funding model and the severity of the threat to Olympia’s hull, it is imperative that money be raised from the private sector as quickly as possible. There is, however, no centralized effort to coordinate fund raising. Because the transfer of ownership process is on a competitive basis between as many as six organizations, contributors may be doubtful whether their contributions are actually going to be used to help the Olympia, particularly if they contribute to an organization that does not end up with title to the ship. To help alleviate this concern, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), National Park Service (NPS) and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) have worked together to established the USS Olympia Fund.

For readers interested in contributing funds, the following list includes most of the transfer applicants as well as the NTHP USS Olympia Fund:

National Trust for Historic Preservation USS Olympia Fund

  • Mission Abstract: The fund is established to support the long term repair and restoration of the USS Olympia. The funds will be held by the National Trust and will be distributed to the new receiving organization once a new steward of the Olympia is confirmed (or if necessary, used for emergency repairs). Should a new steward not be identified at the end of the transfer application process, the National Trust will use the funds for the documentation, preservation, and/or public interpretation of objects and artifacts from the ship itself, and/or for preservation of the ISM’s accessioned Olympia Collection.

South Carolina Olympia Committee

  • Mission Abstract: Utilize the original historic dry-dock at the U.S. Naval Station Port Royal (presently, Parris Island) and design a structure to allow for a permanent dry-dock facility for the Olympia.

Friends of the Cruiser Olympia

  • Mission Abstract: To preserve and maintain the Olympia as a national heritage site in the City of Philadelphia. To interpret the political and social history and technologies of the Olympia and her period.

Cruiser Olympia Historical Society

  • Mission Abstract: …to gain stewardship of the National Historical Landmark the USS Olympia from the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia as part of their Transfer Application Process (TAPP).  Our activity shall be done to first protect the USS Olympia as the only remaining ship from the Spanish-American War and it must be preserved and made available to the General Public, so our history can be appreciated and remembered.  The ship is also a National Mechanical Engineering Historical Landmark and must be preserved to demonstrate steam power technology.

The Mare Island Historic Park Foundation

  • Mission Abstract: The Mare Island Historic Park Foundation (MIHPF) board voted unanimously on April 27, 2011 to support an expression of intent to acquire the USS Olympia for display in Dry Dock #1 at Mare Island.

Save USS Olympia

  • Mission Abstract: re-hosting of the USS Olympia … in Baltimore…. We believe the USS Olympia and the [proposed] Olympia Maritime Technology Centre (OMTC) will complement Maryland’s history as a place of industry, naval education, maritime commerce and technological advancements. A wounded warrior internship program will provide interpretation for the general public.



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