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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 4:45 p.m., Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Navy reclaims land next to USS Arizona visitor center

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

The Navy is reclaiming a controversial parcel of land with retail and food sales next to the USS Arizona visitor center and will turn over its control to the National Park Service for the creation of a long sought-after gateway and orientation center for four historic Pearl Harbor attractions.

The step means that the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, which opened a little over a year ago and has 19 concessions, will close on May 1, 2007, the Navy said.

The commercial venture on 6.4 acres generated controversy from its inception, drawing criticism from some politicians and Pearl Harbor survivors who said it trivialized the sanctity of the USS Arizona Memorial, and competed with other non-profit attractions like the USS Missouri Memorial and USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park.

Another historical venue, the Pacific Aviation Museum — Pearl Harbor, is scheduled to open on Dec. 7 on Ford Island on the 65th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack that launched the United States into World War II.