Last Warship from 1898.

Olympia - Last Surviving Spanish-American Warship

Field review by the editors.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The U.S.S. Olympia is America's oldest steel warship, and the last surviving battlewagon from the Spanish-American War of 1898. It was from its bridge that Commodore Dewey famously said, "You may fire when ready, Gridley." The resulting fusillade destroyed the outdated Spanish fleet, while the crew of the Olympia took breaks to enjoy a relaxed breakfast.

The spot where Dewey stood is marked on the deck with a pair of worn bronze foot prints. The ship is open for tours, allowing visitors to see the Commodore's swank cabin and other antique amenities.

The foot prints.

In 2010 there was bleak talk that the Olympia, whose steel hull was corroding, might have to be towed away and sunk off the coast of New Jersey. But its defenders have repeatedly saved it, and by 2012 the hull was apparently in such good shape that the Olympia began hosting sleepovers on its deck! We expect that the old battlewagon will survive, as long as there are inferior navies to be sunk.

Olympia - Last Surviving Spanish-American Warship

Address:
211 S. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA
Directions:
Docked in the Delaware River at Penn's Landing. At the foot of Spruce St., just south of the Ben Franklin Bridge. I-95 exit 20, then turn left onto Columbus Blvd and drive north. On the right.
Hours:
T-Su 10-5 (Call to verify)
Phone:
215-413-8655
Admission:
Adults $13.50
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Potato Famine MemorialPotato Famine Memorial, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
Larry Fine MuralLarry Fine Mural, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
Museum of the American RevolutionMuseum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Benjamin Franklin's Grave, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.

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July 16, 2018

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