Metro

Old Ironsides to return to the water Sunday

The USS Constitution museum will celebrate the undocking of Old Ironsides, as the ship is known, on Sunday.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The USS Constitution museum will celebrate the undocking of Old Ironsides, as the ship is known, on Sunday.

After a two-year restoration, the USS Constitution will return to the water on Sunday.

The USS Constitution museum will celebrate the undocking of Old Ironsides, as the ship is known, officials said at an event on Monday. The Constitution defended the seas from 1798 to 1855, and is now a featured destination of Boston’s Freedom Trail, hosting over 500,000 visitors a year.

Advertisement

The restoration, a $12 million undertaking, replaced 2,200 copper sheaths and 100 hull planks and gun carriers on the ship. The rigging on the ship was also refurbished and replaced.

Commander Robert Gerosa, the top officer of the Constitution, highlighted the significance of the frigate in the country’s naval history.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“I’m reminded of a quote, ‘the Navy has both a tradition and a future and we look with pride and confidence in both directions,’” Gerosa said. “This ship embodies the best of that quote. This ship is the cornerstone of the US Navy.”

On Sunday, the dry dock where the four-story-tall ship has been held for restoration will be flooded with 4.8 million gallons of water from the Boston Harbor, and the Constitution will be pulled out and moved to a nearby pier.

That date bears special significance — on that day 63 years ago, Congress passed a law decreeing that the Navy would maintain the ship and have it remain in Boston.

Advertisement

The ship needs to be dry docked and restored once every 20 years, according to Margherita Desy, the historian of Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston, the group in charge of the restoration. The Constitution was last restored in 1992.

The Constitution will remain docked in Pier One East at the Charlestown Navy Yard and will open to the public in mid-September.

“It’s been great getting to see her in the dry dock,” Gerosa said. “But I can’t wait to see her back in the water.”

The masts of the USS Constitution at sunset.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The masts of the USS Constitution at sunset.

The USS Constitution

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The USS Constitution

The USS Constitution

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The USS Constitution

The USS Constitution

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The USS Constitution

The USS Constitution

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The USS Constitution

Catie Edmondson can be reached at catie.edmondson@globe.com.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com