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RotatingTurret
08-24-2007, 10:48 AM
I recently visited the USS Constellation in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. While I was very impressed with the ship itself and the restoration, I must say I was rather dimayed with the setting. The Inner Harbor is little more than a shopping mall with an historic tall ship in the middle of it. I realize that being in the middle of everything probably attracts more visitors to the ship, and hence more funding, but what a let down it was seeing such a grand ol' lady competing with the facile allurements of the 21st century... not to mention the noise. (New York's South Street Seaport museum is quieter and more dignified than the Inner Harbor). :( I found myself wishing the Constellation was docked a few blocks away over near the USCGC Taney which is in a more low-key area... or better yet move her to a pier near Ft. McHenry.

Anyone else feel the Constellation is woefully out of place at the Inner Harbor?
-Tom Green

ThumbStall
08-24-2007, 11:05 AM
With all due respect to Baltimoreans who are fiercly proud of their city and the turn-around the downtown area has taken from what it used to be, I would have to agree with you that the carnival sideshow atmosphere of the inner harbor ruins the experience of the Constellation for the serious visitor.

Sadly, most of the casual tourists there either think the Constellation is a pirate ship (not helped by all the pirate trinkets the museum store sells) or they still think it's a War of 1812 vessel. :rolleyes: I like your idea of moving it to Ft. McHenry. There is a pier over there next to the fireboat station that would serve nicely. :)

sbl
08-24-2007, 12:02 PM
USCGC Taney...I had to look. It's named for Chief Justice Roger Taney because he Secretary of the Treasury

Tom,

Was the Constellation featured in Hairspray? :)

Che
08-24-2007, 12:32 PM
USCGC Taney...I had to look. It's named for Chief Justice Roger Taney because he (was a) Secretary of the Treasury...

The Taney is loudly advertised in Baltimore as the "Last Survior of Pearl Harbor!" which is a deceptive oversimplification of the facts. NEWS FLASH!!! She wasn't even in Pearl Harbor that infamous Sunday morning. The Taney was in Honolulu Harbor during the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Hawaii where she came under fire and gave back as good as she got... but it was still Honolulu Harbor no matter how hard Baltimore tries to skew the data. :rolleyes: "Last survior of December 7th, 1941" would be a better slogan for her. Yeah, yeah.... I know... The attack centered on "Pearl Harbor" so its correct in a broad way, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah...

I agree though... Harborplace is an abysmally inappropirate location to dock any historic warship. For crying out loud they sometimes even have mimes prancing around the docks and nausiating the hapless touristas. SHUDDER! :x

Scott,

Speaking of "Hairspray" film director John Waters, I think they should put a statue of Divine up in Harbor Place. That would certainly keep most of us whining history types far, far away from "Charm City."

sbl
08-24-2007, 01:23 PM
Ernesto,

(was a) oops!
I'm glad somebody know who Waters is and who Divine was. say...how many times has that hugh warehouse on the waterfront been burned down in movies? (Avalon, Ladder 49)

Dave Myrick
08-24-2007, 05:43 PM
I understand the basis behind having Constellation berthed at the Inner Harbor. The vessel needs every single penny of revenue she can get. When they "restored" her a few years ago during an extensive overhaul, they made some poor descisions and it is showing now. Already parts of her outer hull planking have had to be replaced. She is not properly ballasted and it is starting to show in her hull shape. To me it looks like she is bowing up in the center. I have spoken with several sailors, veterans of operating sail powered ships and they have many more negative things to say about her condition.

Wouldn't it be grand to se her properly ballasted and fully rigged? Maybe even offer overnight sailing trips down the Chesapeake to Portsmouth VA (site of the Gosport yard where she was built)?

Dave Myrick

Frenchie
08-24-2007, 06:19 PM
The Taney is loudly advertised in Baltimore as the "Last Survior of Pearl Harbor!" which is a deceptive oversimplification of the facts. NEWS FLASH!!! She wasn't even in Pearl Harbor that infamous Sunday morning. The Taney was in Honolulu Harbor during the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Hawaii where she came under fire and gave back as good as she got... but it was still Honolulu Harbor no matter how hard Baltimore tries to skew the data. :rolleyes: "Last survior of December 7th, 1941" would be a better slogan for her. Yeah, yeah.... I know... The attack centered on "Pearl Harbor" so its correct in a broad way, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah...

So I guess we ought to tell all the personnel who were at Hickham, Wheeler, Kaneohe, Ewa, etc., or their families, to turn those citations and medals back in, eh? Some of those places are quite a ways from Pearl.


I agree though... Harborplace is an abysmally inappropirate location to dock any historic warship. For crying out loud they sometimes even have mimes prancing around the docks and nausiating the hapless touristas. SHUDDER! :x

Scott,

Speaking of "Hairspray" film director John Waters, I think they should put a statue of Divine up in Harbor Place. That would certainly keep most of us whining history types far, far away from "Charm City."

If you really think that'll work, I'll call the Mayor's office tomorrow and suggest it.

Frenchie
08-24-2007, 06:38 PM
I understand the basis behind having Constellation berthed at the Inner Harbor. The vessel needs every single penny of revenue she can get. When they "restored" her a few years ago during an extensive overhaul, they made some poor descisions and it is showing now. Already parts of her outer hull planking have had to be replaced. She is not properly ballasted and it is starting to show in her hull shape. To me it looks like she is bowing up in the center. I have spoken with several sailors, veterans of operating sail powered ships and they have many more negative things to say about her condition.

"Bowing up in the center" is called hogging. You're a few years behind the times. Those poor decisions you're talking about were made during a rebuild previous to the last one, where it was decided to turn her back into the 1797 Fell's Point-built frigate Constellation, which this ship, an 1854 sloop, never was. The last rebuilding recognized that and she is and will always be a sloop of war.

Get thee to a library and borrow "USS Constellation: From Frigate to Sloop of War" by Geoffrey M. Footner and read Chapter Nine, The Constellation Preserved. There is no keel hogging, the outer hull planks were replaced as part of the rebuilding, she is properly ballasted for her role as a floating museum in the Inner Harbor, and in general she's doing very well, thank you.

Rob Weaver
08-27-2007, 06:16 AM
Maintaining a sailing ship is incredibly expensive! Here in Erie, we're home to the reconstructed brig Niagara. Museum staff hold their breath every time a state budget is passed. Niagara is berthed less than a mile from where she was built, and sails the Great Lakes. The Erie Maritime Museum is a lovely, state of the art museum facility located in a renovated industrial building on the bayfront. But it can't realistically pull in the money needed to keep it financially afloat. That's why those lovely museums in out of the way places are always strapped for cash. "Location, location, location." In a world where even Colonial Williamsburg is scrambling to stay alive, I say any museum that has a location where it can draw a crowd should stay where it is.

sbl
08-27-2007, 10:20 AM
Rob,

They're refitting the two "Boston Tea Party" ships here in Gloucester. A long project for "repro" ships built on fishing boat hulls. I did a quick search on the various reproduction and restored vessels around here. They all have some sort of non-historical cash generating programs including dinners aboard ship, cruises, gift shops, and "starring" in movies.

I uses to take care of three family wooden boats when I was a kid which is why I don't own a boat now.

bob 125th nysvi
08-27-2007, 11:02 AM
of history is events happened at places for a reason.

The list is endless but a few would be important population or resource center, tactically significant piece of real estate, the only road into Dodge, etc.

Those factors have not changed. If you want to invade Greece from Turkey down the east coast you're still going to have to get through or around Thermoplye.

Baltimore was the reason the British attacked Ft. McHenry and the reason Ft. McHenry existed, not the other way around.

Baltimore is still an important population center and draws a lot of tourists. I bet the "mall" on the waterfront draws more people on a daily basis than Ft. McHenry draws in a month.

So if you want people to see the ship (and more importantly fork over funds to preserve the ship) you need to be where the people are.

Location, location, location ..... real estate, history, preservation or development .... location and it's non-historical importance dictated what happened there in the past, what is happening now and will happen in the future.

And as long as we live in a Capitalist society, money will dictate what happens when and where. Or if it even happens at all, WOULD there be a ship to see if the tourists didn't help pay for it?

sbl
08-27-2007, 12:04 PM
New just in.....

Historic Tea Party dock burns
By Jessica Heslam
Boston Herald Media Reporter

Monday, August 27, 2007 - Updated: 01:52 PM EST

"A building on the pier where replicas of the Boston Tea Party ships are usually docked “went up like a matchbox” today, sending flames roaring into the sky and smoke billowing into downtown Boston. ........"


http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=1019385&srvc=home


Good thing the two ships are in Gloucester!

Rob Weaver
08-27-2007, 02:19 PM
Well, you know what the definition of "boat" is, don't you?
It's a hole in the water filled with money. :D

The tea in those ships belonged to the father-in-law of the wonderful 18th century portraitist John Singleton Copley. The resultant business loss was one of the reasons he left Boston, never to return and is usually known as English portrait artist John singleton Copley.

Frenchie
08-28-2007, 04:17 PM
In Mary Poppins, Copley's father-in-law must be one of the ruined stockholders mentioned by Mssrs Dawes, Sr. and Jr. when they sack Mr. Banks, right?

Those of you under 45 or so are forgiven if you've no idea what I'm talking about. ;)

Frenchie, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mess

bob 125th nysvi
08-28-2007, 06:40 PM
Well, you know what the definition of "boat" is, don't you?
It's a hole in the water filled with money. :D

Bail Out Another Thousand ....

and I'm from a family of sailors. Between my Father and brothers they own 4 sailboats and various smaller boats. The one brother that doesn't own a boat is a former Merchant Officer.

hta1970
08-28-2007, 07:08 PM
Perhaps it would be interesting to know how many of the readers here have been to the Baltimore Civil War Museum. I if all of you had, you might be the only ones. It is or was located in the President Street station of the PW&B RR.

For those from out of town, I might need to fill you in. The sixth Mass Rgt departed that station for the Camden Station on the B&O RR to continue to Washington. Unfortunately they discharged their rifles into the crowd of civilians know today as the Pratt Street Massacare. This happened along that very street, Pratt Street where the Constellation lies docked.

But the tourists haven't come to the Baltimore Civil War Museum, and it is consolidating with another museum and closing it's stand alone site in an original building. The city has spent alot of money on the restoration and the ship and crew now depict a Sloop of War rebuilt in 1854 at Gosport. If they move to some corner of the city waterfront, they would be vulnerable of the same lack of attention that the Baltimore Civil War Museum got. With a good crew of the Constellation right there in front of the public, they can also reach more people than they might elsewhere in the harbor and properly educate them about the WBTS.

hendrickms24
08-28-2007, 11:56 PM
Harry,

Your right, I love seeing her sitting in the Inner Harbor and do not think she is out of place. As long as I can remember she was been there sitting just below Federal Hill. There is no place in the state of Maryland to anchor her without modern intrusion.

Rob Weaver
08-29-2007, 05:38 AM
Bien sur, Monsieur! Absolutely right. (Mary Poppins was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. It still has a weird otherworldly feel to me - as well as the most panfaced children ever captured on film!)

In Mary Poppins, Copley's father-in-law must be one of the ruined stockholders mentioned by Mssrs Dawes, Sr. and Jr. when they sack Mr. Banks, right?

Those of you under 45 or so are forgiven if you've no idea what I'm talking about. ;)

Frenchie, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mess