CLEVELAND – Cleveland officials have assured representatives of a World War II vintage submarine memorial that it will continue to be a valued part of the northeastern Ohio lakefront.
Paul Farace, director of the USS Cod Submarine Memorial, said he has wondered about the impact of a proposed office complex on city-owned property where the sub is docked.
Memorial representatives met city officials last week and were assured that it is held in high esteem. However, Farace noted he was asked to be open to the possibility of moving the memorial elsewhere on the lakefront.
“The Cod is a very important treasure,” Chris Warren, chief of regional development for Mayor Frank Jackson, told the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. “We are committed to a continued presence of the Cod on the lakefront, and we will work with the Cod toward that goal.”
After the meeting, Farace said he was cautiously optimistic regarding the sub’s future.
“They told me that any place you go, or if you stay, you’ll get the things you require to maintain and preserve the Cod,” Farace said.
The sub’s current location draws many of its 25,000 annual visitors from people who park at Burke Lakefront Airport and spot the sub while walking to the nearby Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Farace said.
The Cod pays the city $375 a year to rent a 25-car parking lot along the 312-foot dock where the Cod is berthed, he said. The site also includes a small grassy area for exhibits and maintenance facilities, and where commemorations, weddings, funerals and holiday events are held.
The Cod, which sank 15 Japanese ships during World War II, came to Cleveland in 1959 as a Navy Reserve training vessel. When the Navy decommissioned the sub in 1972 and announced plans to scrap it, a local “Save the Cod” campaign was launched and the memorial created in 1976.
The memorial has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.