Tuesday, March 2, 2010

LA Port Nixes Battleship Museum Plan

The Port of Los Angeles has fired a full broadside salvo into a historical group's plans to bring the World War II battleship USS Iowa to the port as a museum piece.

Port officials said late last week that the USS Iowa plan by the Pacific Battleship Center was rejected because it would complicate and interfere with an ongoing development of the port's public waterfront area.

The PBC group is not the only group vying for the battleship, and according to the port, the Navy has only made the mothballed ship available to a group trying to bring the warship to Vallejo in Northern California. The Northern California effort has also faced funding problems in finding a permanent home for the USS Iowa.

The Navy continues to maintain the USS Iowa in an "on hold" status as part of a government program that donates vessels to museum groups.

The USS Iowa is the last remaining battleship in the world that has not been placed in a museum.

Port of Los Angeles officials said that all seven port sites proposed by the PBC group were inconsistent with the port's own plans for the waterfront area, which ironically includes the San Pedro Bay's only maritime museum.