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Call this … “what we might lose soon.”  I wrote about it here a few months back.

This Proceedings article lays out some of the recent history of deterioration.

Here’s a recent article from the Christian Science Monitor.    On its falling into this state, Naval naval historian Lawrence Burr, author of US Cruisers 1883-1904,  says, “It’s an absolute national disgrace. It’s an appalling situation.  She is a national symbol, and she marks critical points in time both in America’s development as a country and the Navy’s emergence as a global power.”

Says Harry Burkhardt, leading efforts to save Olympia, “I think what’s happening is a total disgrace.  The Liberty Bell has a crack in it, but we don’t melt it down. The Statue of Liberty turned green with corrosion, but we don’t throw it away.  The Olympia was a symbol of America’s might and freedom.  Now she’s a symbol of negligence.”

Click here for dozens of fotos of Olympia taken a few years back.

Click here and go to page 17 to see a foto of Olympia‘s hull on 5 November 1892, day of launch.

The large gun juxtaposed with the many-paned “picture window” was operated from the fleet commander’s suite.

Right now the vessel’s fate  hangs … or teeters in the balance.  These might be the last days to visit, to walk her decks and companionways, to photograph her in various light, to sketch her iconic lines.

Here’s a “Friends of the Cruiser Olympia” site.

For some great interior shots, see MarkerHunter’s site.

This can’t really disappear, can it?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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