Permanent home nears for historic Battleship Texas

As major repairs continue on the historic Battleship Texas, plans are being finalized for the ship’s permanent home.

The Battleship Texas Foundation announced this week that it is working on a deal to bring the ship to the Pier 21 waterfront development in Galveston.

Texas is the last surviving battleship that served in both World Wars. She is in dry dock in Galveston.

“This ship is in a hospital. We are doing major surgery on the ship,” said Travis Davis, Vice President of Ship Operations for the Battleship Texas Foundation.

The State of Texas, which owns the ship, had considered scrapping her. The 111-year-old battleship was taking on 2,000 gallons of water a minute at her longtime home near the San Jacinto Monument outside Houston. Pumps kept the Texas afloat.

“There was definitely a chance we were going to lose the ship,” Davis said.

Fifteen months ago, Battleship Texas was towed to the Gulf Copper shipyard and lifted out of the water.

Dozens of workers are slowly reversing decades of decay.

Fixing the leaks is top priority.

“The work that we’re doing to the ship is very critical,” Davis said.

The severely weathered wooden deck will also be replaced to make the Texas watertight above and below.

This coming spring, Battleship Texas will slip back into the waters of Galveston Bay. Work will continue toward the goal of reopening the ship as a museum.

“Where else a child can go and put their hands physically on something that served in both of the World Wars?” said Matt Pham, Vice President of Development at the Foundation. “It serves as that resounding and lasting connection to that generation, to the sacrifice that they made.”

The State of Texas is spending $60 million on the project. The total cost is estimated at $75 million. Fundraising is underway for the remaining money.

While work on Battleship Texas continues, the public can tour the ship in dry dock. You can find more information here.

Courtesy of Texas News – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth