‘Big J’ coming to JC?
Campaign building to bring famed Battleship New Jersey to Liberty State Park
by E. Assata WrightReporter
Jan 22, 2012
A behind-the-scenes campaign to relocate the U.S. Navy’s most decorated war ship from Camden to Jersey City is now underway, a campaign that threatens to revive an old tug of war between north and south Jersey.
A decade has passed since the Battleship USS New Jersey sailed around the U.S. and landed in Camden, after Jersey City, Bayonne, and Camden waged a bitter battle over where the ship would be docked. At the time, many were surprised that Camden won out over Jersey City and Bayonne. But it was assumed the ship, which was turned into a museum, would help vitalize Camden’s waterfront and feed off of tourism in Philadelphia.
That hasn’t happened. Disappointing tourism along Camden’s Delaware River waterfront, according to some sources, has made the USS New Jersey a forgotten relic tucked behind the city’s underutilized aquarium.
“This is a national treasure. It’s been given its best shot in Camden,” said one source. “But it simply isn’t viable [as a tourist attraction] where it is now.”
Thus, there’s now a move afoot to build political pressure to bring the ship north to Jersey City, where tourism traffic is greater. But Camden, south Jersey, and Philadelphia are sure to mount their own campaign to keep the battleship docked where it is. (Read the full article)