Steamship museum will stay put at downtown mooring

CLEVELAND (AP) - The steamship William G. Mather, a floating maritime museum, has landed a 40-year lease that will keep the Lake Erie attraction docked downtown.
After a decade of negotiations, the city and the nonprofit organization that owns the 618-foot Mather signed a lease with a 45-year extension option.
The museum has operated on a year-to-year lease since 1993.
The city had considered moving the freighter from its dock near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to another location.
The $1 annual lease keeps the Mather in North Coast Harbor either at the location it has occupied since 1991 or behind the Great Lakes Science Center.
Built in 1925, the Mather carried iron ore and coal on the Great Lakes for 55 years. About 20,000 visitors tour the ship each year.
"Ships like the Mather made Cleveland, Chicago, Buffalo and other similar cities the major metropolises they are," said Rob Catalano, museum manager.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)