Sunday, October 01, 2006
Chicago will have a floating museum by next spring, after the arrival of a U.S. Coast Guard cutter that will showcase maritime, military and the area's industrial history, state officials said. The federal government decommissioned the cutter USCGC Acacia (WLB 406) in June and transferred it to the State of Illinois, which helped secure the ship for the use of the American Academy of Industry, based in the Chicago area. Built in 1944, the USCGC Acacia (WLB 406) was assigned to Lake Michigan for much of its working life, breaking ice to keep shipping channels open in the Great Lakes, and maintaining buoys and lighthouses.
USCGC Acacia (WLB 406)It is currently moored in Burns Harbor, Ind., but will arrive next month in Chicago, where it will likely spend the winter at the former U.S. Steel South Works site, about 10 miles south of downtown. The nonprofit American Academy of Industry, which had been searching for a ship to serve as a museum for several years, intends to open it to the public by next spring, its vice president, Marty Hecker, said.