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The Navy is announcing today that it has decided to remove the (former) USS Barry from its longtime home along the banks of the Anacostia River at the Washington Navy Yard.
"After 30 years as a display ship with minimum maintenance performed, the hull is in poor condition and must be removed before construction begins in October 2015 on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge replacement with a fixed span that would land-lock Display Ship Barry."
The letter goes on to say that the Barry is not eligible for historic landmark status, and "as such will be dismantled for recycling."
There are apparently no plans at this time to replace the ship.
Readers have been asking lately about the work recently begun to demolish the piers near the Barry--if the Barry is going to be dismantled in place, removing the nearby piers would seem to be tied in with that. *
The switch to a fixed-span design for the new Douglass Bridge resulted in a savings of about $140 million in estimated construction costs and an additional expected savings of $100,000 a year for drawbridge maintenance and operation, though the city did "initiate discussions" with the Navy and the Coast Guard about the design change. This Barry announcement does seem to be a confirmation that there will be no drawbridge added back in.
UPDATE: Here is the Wikipedia entry on the Barry, for those who want to know her history. She was commissioned in 1954, decommissioned in 1982, and moved to the Washington Navy Yard in 1984, as seen in this keen photo. She was the third of four (so far) ships named for Commodore John Barry, America's first commissioned naval officer and man credited as "the father of the American Navy" (or at least he co-parented it with John Paul Jones).
UPDATE II: Technically, it's not the "USS" Barry anymore, it's the DS Barry. I knew this. Was in a hurry.
* UPDATE III: A spokesman from the Navy Yard writes to say that only two of the piers are being removed--one other is being restored, and the fourth is being left untouched. And that this is not tied to the fate of the Barry.
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MJM says: (2/2/15 4:31 PM)
Thus the reason for the piers after all. You really should add the ships and piers to the demo bldg list.


JD says: (2/2/15 4:34 PM)
I think the Barry will get added. (I was going to mention it in the post, but thought that might be a bit flip.)



Westnorth says: (2/2/15 4:35 PM)
Hmm, no schedule on last-chance visits, and no one's picking up the phone at either of the DS Barry's phone numbers [(202) 433-3377 or (202) 433-6115, per the museum's website].


202_cyclist says: (2/2/15 5:42 PM)
Unfortunate news, as I've enjoyed the haunted ghost ship in previous years. Hopefully the USS Gerald Ford can do a port call to the Washington Navy Yard...


JD says: (2/2/15 9:04 PM)
At least the news that the marina at the Yards Park will begin construction this year means there will be something new to look at on the water after the Barry is gone....


202_cyclist says: (2/2/15 9:56 PM)
And who knows-- perhaps the future 11th St pedestrian bridge will have so many activities and diversions we might not even notice the Barry is gone.


adamdonovan says: (2/3/15 9:18 AM)
JD - I missed the news about the marina at Yards Park beginning construction this year. Do you have a link? Have been wondering about that lately.


conngs0 says: (2/3/15 9:19 AM)
Bittersweet. Given the unlikelihood that the Display Ship Barry would be sufficiently popular to justify the expense of making it a permanent addition to the waterfront at the Navy Yard, it had to be removed. And the removal is a (small) sign of progress with the construction of the Frederick Douglass Bridge. If done right, the new bridge and related traffic pattern could help improve the scenery on the water and really help the flow of people from Navy Yard over to Southwest where the soccer stadium and other amenities will be once the Florida Rock development actually gives folks a reason to head over to that other side of Nats Park!

All that aside, I'll still miss the Display Ship Barry. What an opportunity it's been to be able to easily and frequently explore a destroyer that experienced quite a bit of history! My grandfather served in World War II in two of the Barry's predecessors. Granted there were probably quite a few improvements over the decade between those ships' construction and the Barry's, but I really appreciated the opportunity to walk through the Barry to get at least a small sense of what life was like for him during those days (it's definitely not for those inclined towards claustrophobia!).


JD says: (2/3/15 9:24 AM)
@adamdonovan--I mentioned it in the update on the BID meeting. No separate link because there's no renderings yet or really much more to say than "yes, they say they are starting it this year." Perhaps this focus on the waterline will spur Forest City to fork over some details. :-)


JD says: (2/4/15 2:43 PM)
Also, I think I will mention here that it would never have occurred to me that a post about the Barry would end up being my most-trafficked non-ballpark news item ever.


JD says: (2/6/15 2:18 PM)
Note this clarification I just added to the Barry post: A spokesman from the Navy Yard writes to say that only two of the piers are being removed--two others are being restored. And that this is not tied to the fate of the Barry.


JD says: (2/6/15 2:35 PM)
Hahaha, now the Navy Yard has said, no, only one pier is being restored, two are being demolished, and one is being left untouched.


MalS says: (2/18/15 4:46 PM)
Oh too bad - I really like the display ship and think it gives a real connection to the history of the Yard. It is the kind of thing that National Harbor (downriver) utterly lacks and can't be invented. I am very sorry to hear this.

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