Robinson Terminal South Update: Ship Stabilization Project

The City is currently developing a historic ship timbers stabilization plan to safely relocate, store, and preserve the historic ships and a section of wharf found along the City’s waterfront.

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Note: The information on this page reflects the state of knowledge when this update was written. Information may have changed. 

Ship Stabilization Project

December 2019

The City is currently developing a historic ship timbers stabilization plan. The project will safely relocate, store, and preserve the historic ships and a section of wharf found along the City’s waterfront at the Robinson Terminal South Site (44AX235) until a more permanent preservation project is feasible. The first ship, from the Hotel Indigo Site (44AX229), is currently undergoing conservation at Texas A&M University. The timbers from the three ship hull remnants from Robinson Terminal South are currently stored in nine pools of water at a City warehouse, which is slated for redevelopment. Archaeologists discovered these ship fragments in 2018 during archaeological excavations of the development site now called Robinson Landing, at the foot of Duke Street. City staff are assisting researchers from Texas A&M University in documenting the timbers through 3D laser scanning, a critical step in collecting information about the historic artifacts that will also serve as the basis for learning more about these ships – their size, shape, type, and potentially where they might have sailed.

In coordination with other departments (including Project Implementation, Transportation and Environmental Services, Parks and Recreation, and General Services), Alexandria Archaeology developed a recommendation for a medium-term storage option that preserves the possibility of future study and/or conservation. Ben Brenman Pond, located in Ben Brenman Park, presents a preferred option to provide medium-term, wet storage for the timbers. Brenman Pond (also referred to as Cameron Station Pond) was constructed in the late 1990s as a stormwater management facility for Cameron Station and is a popular amenity to the park. Historic interpretation signs would accompany the ships near the storage location, explaining the significance of these resources and how and why they came to be in the pond. The timbers’ condition would be regularly monitored. Implementation of this project is pending funding. We are currently reaching out to the community to provide updates and information on our recommendation.   

Ship Stabilization Map: Ben Brenman Pond

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