The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid returned home to Manhattan last week. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s grand re-opening celebration will be held on Veterans Day, November 11, 2008. Intrepid left her berth at Staten Island’s Homeport Pier on October 2, and was moved north to the brand new Pier 86 following a 22-month overhaul (NYT).
According to Newsday:
Bill White, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, said the museum has paid $10 million to dredge more Hudson River mud – more than 90,000 cubic yards – than was done for the first unsuccessful attempt to move the 900-foot-long ship to a New Jersey dry dock. And for good measure, the ship’s four 16-ton, bronze, 22-foot-diameter propellers have been permanently removed so they can no longer serve as unwanted anchors. “I am 100 percent confident she will come back in with no problems,” White said.
The ship reopens to the general the public after a private event Nov. 8 at Pier 86, at 12th Avenue and West 46th Street. After an expenditure of almost $120 million since the carrier was finally relocated in December 2006, visitors will see new exhibits, areas of the 29,000-ton ship launched in 1943 that were formerly off limits during its first 23 years on display and additional historic aircraft and they have access from a newly built pier topped by a free park.
The 2008 Veterans Day Parade has been rerouted west across 42nd Street, and north up 12th Avenue, with the parade passing the Intrepid Museum. 5,000 of the parade’s veterans will take part in the Museum’s grand re-opening celebration.
While in Staten Island, Intrepid will undergo the next phase of her refurbishment, and receive an $8 million interior renovation. Of that, $4.5 million has been privately raised – $3.5 million is yet to be procured. Never-before-seen areas of the ship including to the focasle (commonly known as the anchor chain room), general berthing quarters and the ship’s machine shop will be opened to the public for the first time. The hangar deck will feature a new layout and design including new interactive exhibits.