The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Wawona Plan Delivered; Positive Response Needed

I received an exciting call this afternoon from Joe Shickich, president of Northwest Seaport, who said that his organization and the Museum of History and Industry had delivered a letter to the mayor's office with a plan for moving Wawona from South Lake Union Park temporarily for restoration. The city had set a deadline of today for the plan, which is a response to the mayor's threat last month to "demolish and dispose" of the vessel in September. Wawona is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated city landmark. The NWS/MOHAI plan calls for temporary removal of Wawona from SLUP by barge to a location where restoration can continue. Ultimately, the entire vessel would be displayed on land at SLUP. The Parks Department and the mayor's office has suggested that Wawona be destroyed, with a few pieces saved for a limited display.

The entire maritime heritage community supports the interpretation of Wawona as a historic artifact. This plan moves us toward that goal. Now is the time for the mayor's office to show good faith and demonstrate that instead of standing in the way of a credible maritime history facility, as it has so far, it wants to partner with NWS, MOHAI, and all other maritime heritage organizations to create a world-class maritime heritage display at SLUP with Wawona as its centerpiece. Everyone wants a positive, constructive response from the city that moves the process forward without delay and new conditions.

If you would like to comment on the Wawona plan or add your voice to the discussion, please click the comment link below.

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