Bushwick Inlet, a Greenpoint historic site for the Civil War Ironclad, the USS Monitor,

to serve as new home for museum

Houston/Brooklyn – Dec. 23, 2003 - In a move that will establish a permanent home for The Greenpoint Monitor Museum, Motiva Enterprises announced today the donation of a parcel of land within Bushwick Inlet, located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on the East River, to the museum.  The Bushwick Inlet, owned by Motiva Enterprises since 1998, is situated adjacent to the former site of the Continental Iron Works, birthplace of the USS Monitor and several of the Union’s ironclad warships.  The northern section of the Bushwick Inlet at Quay Street. shares historical significance as the location where the USS Monitor, famed for the March 9, 1862 Civil War Battle between the “Monitor and Merrimac,” was first launched. 

“Motiva is pleased to contribute this land to help establish a home for The Greenpoint Monitor Museum and to help commemorate an important moment in our nation’s history,” stated Ralph Grimmer, Vice President of Commercial Marketing and Distribution for Motiva.  “The efforts of the museum represent a wonderful opportunity for everyone to understand and appreciate the historical significance of the inlet in shaping the community’s past.”

For The Greenpoint Monitor Museum, which first approached Motiva in 1998 with the idea, the gift could not come too soon.  “For The Greenpoint Monitor Museum to acquire ownership of this property represents the fulfillment of our organization’s long-term vision to preserve and highlight the history of the USS Monitor,” said Janice Lauletta-Weinmann, President and a founding member of The Greenpoint Monitor Museum.  “We greatly appreciate Motiva’s generosity and commitment to the goals of our organization.”

“Motiva’s donation is a welcome gift that helps us realize our goal of preserving this historic location while contributing to the waterfront area for the community’s benefit,” added U.S. Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez.

The museum is working closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which oversees the USS Monitor Sanctuary.  The sanctuary, located 16 miles off the coast of North Carolina, is where the USS Monitor came to rest on Dec. 31, 1862 following a fierce storm.  Members of the museum were invited by NOAA to participate in its Expedition 2001 to recover the engine, and in its Expedition 2002 to recover the turret.

Artifacts from the USS Monitor are expected to be given to the museum for display once a building for the museum can be constructed on the site.  The museum will tell the story of John Ericsson and the construction and launch of the USS Monitor from the historic sites in Greenpoint.

The Greenpoint Monitor Museum, chartered by New York State on April 24, 1996, is an education corporation.  The museum is an official member of the University of the State of New York.  On Dec. 16, 1998 the museum received its Federal 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status.

Motiva Enterprises LLC operates refineries and a terminal system, and has marketing operations that support a network of nearly 12,000 Shell- and Texaco-branded gasoline stations in the Eastern and Southern United States.  Company assets include four refineries, capable of refining approximately 860,000 barrels per day (bpd) and ownership or partial interest in 47 product terminals.