The oldest steel warship afloat anywhere in the world. The U.S.S. Olympia was the flagship of Commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay. She served through WWI and was decommissioned in 1922. She is essentially grounded in the mud at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She looks good above the waterline, but the Navy has said that there is ten million dollars of work needed just on the hull. The decks are wood, and rotting under a protective layer of concrete. The ship was last drydocked in 1945. This link outlines the work that has been done to try to save her, but it will not be enough.
There are beautiful internal spaces, wooden wardrooms, engines that display a sense of pride and empire. If you want to see her in person, you need to hurry. It’s to the point that a hull failure is anticipated, and public tours will end in November of 2010. The Navy has authorized the the company that holds the ship to have her sunk at sea. The flagship of the U.S. fleet at the dawn of America’s prominence as a world power is going to be scrapped.
Action expresses priorities.