Joe Fudge / Daily Press
November 10, 2008
On Tuesday November 11, The Mariners' Museum will dedicate its new entrance wall, located at the intersection of Warwick Boulevard and the Avenue of the Arts. The entrance is another phase in the completion of the Cultural Corridor, which includes the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, the Virginia Living Museum, and Christopher Newport University's Ferguson Center. The new entrance wall, designed by the renowned architectural firm of Carlton Abbot & Partners of Williamsburg, replaces the small propeller that had been a landmark for the community for many generations. The propeller was removed in 2004 at the start of improvements to the intersection by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The centerpiece of the new wall is a 34-ton propeller from the SS United States, one of our nation's fastest and most famous luxury vessels built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in the late 1940s. The propeller was formerly located at the business entrance to The Mariners' Museum and was moved to the intersection by Hampton Roads Crane & Rigging on September 4. Sitting atop an original 63-foot long shaft above a cascading fountain, the new propeller pays tribute to the rich maritime history of the area, marking the entrance to one of the nation's greatest international maritime history museums.