The Galveston City Council declined to take a stand last week on proposals by historic preservationists to relocate the battleship U.S.S. Texas from its mooring at the San Jacinto battlefield to a new, more accessible spot in Galveston Harbor.
Texas voters approved $25 million of state general obligation bonds in November 2007 to renovate the ship, which was built in 1912 and has spent the last 60 years near La Porte, site of the battle of San Jacinto in 1836, the decisive clash of the Texas revolution against Mexico. Voters approved $12.1 million of GOs for a similar project in 2001, but the Legislature never authorized the effort
Jan DeVault, president of the San Jacinto Battleground Association, said construction of a proposed visitors center for the battleship would damage the historical site. Mooring the ship in Galveston Bay would also attract more than the 70,000 who visited the ship last year, DeVault said.
The U.S.S. Texas, the last survivor of the dreadnought class of battleships, provided fire support at the invasion of Normandy in 1944 and at Iwo Jima in 1945. It was declared a national historical monument in 1977.