FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Mare Island Historic Park Foundation announces submission of a Business Plan Phase IIA application to acquire a Historic Ship from the Spanish American War, the USS OLYMPIA
Vallejo, California/Tuesday April 24, 2012
Today the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation (MIHPF) submitted a Phase IIA Application to acquire the USS OLYMPIA for display in Dry-Dock #1 at Mare Island. A written response from the ship owners on the acceptability of this submittal is due to the MIHPF on July 1, 2012. The OLYMPIA is the oldest surviving steel hulled warship in the world most famous for her role as Admiral Dewey’s flagship in decimating the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay at the outbreak of the Spanish American War in 1898. Submission of a Phase IIA Application is the second step in a four step process for acquisition of the ship. The four step process was developed by Independence Seaport Museum (ISM), the Navy and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission each of which have a legal interest in the ship.
Kenneth Zadwick, the president of the MIHPF, commented that: “We are excited that our Phase IIA application demonstrates that we can provide a safe and protective location for the OLYMPIA while generating sufficient revenue to address expenses associated with displaying and operating her. Now we embark on the “make or break” part of our effort as we reach out to our fellow Americans and, in particular, those who have benefitted from our American story to raise the funds required to capitalize the acquisition. We trust that the fact that the OLYMPIA is not just some monument created to commemorate a great event, but that she is the actual ship from which American sailors fought at peril and through their heroic actions launched our nation into our role as a world power, will resonate with those who appreciate the importance of preserving and displaying for all to see such a unique and important part of our shared heritage.”
The display of a historic ship as a monument in Mare Island’s Dry-Dock #1 has long been a goal of the MIHPF. Acquisition of the OLYMPIA remains the focus to fulfill this goal. The OLYMPIA has a historical connection to the San Francisco Bay Area as she was built here and she operated from Mare Island prior to her dispatch to the Asiatic Station.” It will require $9M to tow her to the west coast and conduct site preparations at Mare Island in Vallejo California.
Donations to support this historic venture are being sought to bring OLYMPIA home to Mare Island. For more information see www.mareislandhpf.org or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tGa4M60qew&feature=relmfu for more information regarding donations see http://www.mareislandhpf.org/ships/donate.html.
The MIHPF is a non-profit public benefit corporation within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. MIHPF was founded in 1995, and operates a 50,000 sq. ft Museum, and leases and maintains three major historical properties; two Mansions on Officer’s Row, and St. Peter’s Chapel with the most Tiffany windows in the West on the former naval shipyard in Vallejo, California.
OLYMPIA Project Manager, Mare Island Historic Park Foundation