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August 17, 1999
The City of Norfolk was elated to learn that the Navy approved the berthing of the USS WISCONSIN at The National Maritime Center – Nauticus
It is estimated that it will take some 12 to 16 months before the battleship Wisconsin will be moved into place. To quote the Virginia Pilot “the basin beside Nauticus will have to be dug out as much as 15 feet deeper, removing about 185,000 cubic yards of river bottom. That’s enough to cover a football field with a pile of muck 80 feet deep”
The cost for dredging and moving the ship is in the neighborhood of $5.8 million which will be paid by the Navy. The Navy will maintain the ship since she is still in a class “B” reserve status.
As more information becomes available, it will be listed on this page.
Below are three different views of what the waterfront will look like when the Wisconsin is berthed at the Nauticus.
November 14, 1999
On Sunday morning, November 14, 1999, Richard Conti, Director of the National Maritime Center-Nauticus-in Norfolk, VA. held a meeting. In attendance were George Miller, Association President, Carl Capestrain, Vice President, Dave Patrykus, Treasurer, Bill Henson, Editor of our “BADGER”, Dick Hamann, Recording Secretary, Dom Menta, Historian/Curator, Webmaster, Ronald Keys, Special Assistant to City Manager, Shurl Montgomery, Assistant City Manager, Charles Hartig, Office of the Mayor, Jack Kavanaugh, RADM, SC, USN (RET), John Anthony Jones, Norfolk Convention Bure
The purpose of this meeting was to explain how the Nauticus and the City of Norfolk would present the Wisconsin to the public. On the drawing board are plans to open up a wall on the third level of Nauticus, erecting a passageway directly to the main deck of the Wisconsin and the development and construction of numerous interactive, educational exhibits that will “Bring the Ship to Life”. Visitors to the Battleship will be able to tour the main deck free of charge. In partnership with the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, memorabilia pertaining to life aboard the Wisconsin will also be put on display. Nauticus and Hampton Roads Naval Museum will also develop a comprehensive educational program for students and the general public.
Following the meeting we were invited by Howard Webb, President of Webb Technologies and the President of the National Maritime Center Foundation to join him on his boat, Mariner IV for a cruise along the historic Elizabeth River to see Wisconsin. We cruised along side of her. Boy, she is still beautiful.
Monday morning at 8:30 am we were escorted by bus to Pier 21 to see the Wisconsin. The media was both at the gate and on board the ship taking pictures and conducting interviews with all of us. We took a walking tour with Mayor Fraim, his staff, Councilmen Mason Andrews and Randy Wright, and city and state officials, including Delegate Thelma Drake and Senator Nick Rerras, and numerous representatives from the local media.
The eight crewmembers that walked her decks that morning were just in awe, bringing back memories of so long ago. It’s always a thrill to stand on her deck and reminisce. We were so lucky to have served on this magnificent ship.
That afternoon we had lunch with Mayor Fraim and his staff. The Mayor informed us that a USS Wisconsin Foundation has been set up. George Miller, Association President was appointed as secretary and Carl Capestrain, Vice President is on the Board of Directors. Mayor Fraim brought out at the luncheon how the City of Norfolk and the USS Wisconsin Association can work together to present this ship to the public in the best way possible.
As for the time frame for presenting the ship to the public, it is on schedule for December 2000.
Following are pictures taken on this two-day visit to Norfolk, Virginia.
All pictures taken with a digital camera by Dom Menta (except # 32)
Visit the City of Norfolk, the future home of our beloved ship.
February 7, 2000
Today I stopped by the Nauticus Maritime Center in Norfolk to check on the progress of the dredging. To my surprise the dredging was underway and the test pilings were already in place. Test pilings are used to determine the depth of the concrete pilings that are support structures for the mooring dolphins. There will be two of these dolphins. I took these photos today. There will be additional photos as work progresses.
March 16, 2000
A brief stop-over at the Nauticus Maritime Center to check on the dredging progress. Rich Conti took us on a walking tour showing us where the Wisconsin will be berthed.
June 14, 2000
The following pictures were sent to us by Jack Kavanaugh. They show the east dolphin concrete pour. Looks like things are moving along and right on schedule.
JULY 18, 2000
Just a few pictures of our meeting and the progress outside.
Rich Conti, Director of the National Maritime Center, Nauticus sent us these pictures of the concrete pour at the west dolphin site. The first and last pictures were taken by Allen Hilliard from the parking garage across from the Nauticus. Nice overview.
Stopped by the Nauticus, met with David Kohnen, Joseph Judge and Rich Conti. Impressed with the progress that has been made in preparation for our ship. The following pictures show the start of the work inside and the near completion of the outside work.
The first two photos show the structure that will hold the bridge. The second two photos show one section of the bridge in place. The concrete stairway will be used as an emergency exit.
March 18, 2001
Our roving photographer, Al Hilliard, took this picture showing the final span of the bridge to the quarterdeck near Turret One. Click on picture for a larger view.
Random photos of Wisconsin at Nauticus.
A new look for Nauticus. Cruise ships, on a limited schedule, are now leaving and returning from The National Maritime Center-Nauticus
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