For more than a year, the National Museum of The Great Lakes has been a highly anticipated addition to the downtown Toledo facade.
And now, the project is almost complete in just a matter of weeks.
Last October, Toledo's marina district became the permanent home of the great lakes freighter, the SS Schoonmaker. On its arrival, it was parked next to a few acres of dirt, but that was just the beginning of the National Museum of The Great Lakes relocation project.
"We watched the Schoonmaker come down, and we watched the development of the park here," said Carl Ribby, who often walks along the Maumee River with his grandchildren.
A year later, the edge of the Maumee River adjacent to the Schoonmaker is no longer a giant dirt lot. The area has been landscaped with paved paths, benches, and plants.
The museum is being relocated to the Glass City from Vermillion, Ohio.
"We're in the process of installing the exhibits. The majority is going to be coming in over the next couple of weeks. It will be about six weeks before we can get them all in, and get them tweaked and ready to go," said Anna Kolin, an official with the Great Lakes Museum.
There's a lot of history in the great lakes, and museum staff hope to teach visitors about that history.
There will be many exhibits, but one big draw is expected to be a 22-ton bronze propeller from the SS John Sherwin. The giant prop is going to be mounted on a concrete pillar in front of the museum. The John Sherwin was built in Toledo in 1959.
"Maritime history here in Toledo is so vast. And for us to be able to have a national museum dedicated to the great lakes history is outstanding," said Kolin.
You will have to wait just a little while longer. Museum officials decided not to open until the spring of 2014.
They say there's no sense opening a maritime museum in the middle of winter.