I’ve never really understood Dallas’ bid for a maritime museum. We’re a land locked city on an unnavigable river whose mid-19th century forays into aquatic transportation were abandoned with the arrival of the railroad. And yet, the idea of dedicating a museum to the maritime has been floating around for some time, most recently popping up in one of the fancy schmancy architectural plans that reimagined how to connect downtown to Dallas scant waterfront.
Well now it looks like dreams of the maritime museum are receding further to the horizon. The gambit centered on the acquisition of the USS Dallas submarine, which was supposed to be decommissioned this year, but now won’t be available until at least 2016. Without the centerpiece display, members of the museum’s board, which includes some prominent politicos, have turned their eyes to acquiring the former presidential yacht. But why stop there? Since Dallas is bent on honoring histories that have nothing to do with its own history (c.f. the bronze bulls), why not try to build our own space center, open a museum of Appalachian culture, or buy enough pieces of the Berlin Wall to reassemble a mile or so it somewhere downtown? Actually, I may like that last idea.