Friday, February 3

Navy plans to demolish historic shipyard crane in Washington state

BREMERTON, Wash. — The Navy plans to take down the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard’s historic hammerhead crane as part of a billion-dollar effort to turn antiquated facilities into a state-of-the-art dry dock for nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.

The green steel of the crane has stood over the shipyard and surrounding city for nearly 90 years, becoming an iconic symbol of Bremerton. But the Navy says the crane, which is no longer in use, is due for costly maintenance and is vulnerable in earthquakes.

“The crane has also degraded after a quarter-century of non-use and it would be very costly for the Navy to maintain it in a safe condition,” the Navy said in documents released Wednesday.

The 25-story crane, one of the few still standing in the country, was built and installed in 1933 by many of the same workers who constructed the Empire State Building in New York. It later became an identifier for the surrounding city and an industrial workforce that helped win a world war.

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