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Boston's Biggest Restoration Project Gets Underway Today

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There are renovations-slash-restorations in Boston and then there are renovations-slash-restorations in Boston. This particular one is the latter. It involves a property spanning some 300-plus feet at its longest and one able to displace more than 2,200 tons of water. Oh, and it dates from George Washington's last year as president. Yes, the U.S.S. Constitution is in dry dock in Charlestown (as of Monday) and is about to undergo a major rehab.

The restoration is expected to take some three years and cost the Navy upward of $15 million. The world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat will get a new glaze of copper on its hull (the 3,400 sheets clinging to it now have to be replaced) as well as fresh rigging and planks; craftsmen will also spruce up the captain's cabin and other interiors. The last time the Constitution ambled into dry dock was during the early 1990s in anticipation of its bicentennial in 1997. As a naval officer told The Globe, the restoration is not necessarily about making the ship look spiffy as it is about preserving it for future generations to take field trips to. Cool.
· U.S.S. Constitution to begin restorations [Globe]