Open parts of the ship include main deck (guns), most of second deck (crew spaces), a short part of third deck (crew spaces and ammo passageway), starboard engine room, and superstructure up to flag bridge. Highly interesting parts of the ship currently not open to the public (awaiting restoration) include main turrets and magazines, secondary and AA magazines, torpedo rooms, forecastle officer's berthing, CPO berthing, reefers and refrigeration machinery room, boiler rooms, steering gear room, conning tower, radio central, central station, plotting room, electrical generator and switchboard rooms, gyro rooms, capstan motor room, and chain locker. Barring a huge influx of restoration funds, most of these spaces will never be open to the public in our lifetime. Even so, the open spaces give a fascinating and unique view into the WW I dreadnought era, making Texas one of the most valuable memorial ships in the world.
Circa 1969-1970, a relatively small charge of black powder or propane (witness accounts differ) was set off in one of the guns of turret #4 during a ceremony, breaking all windows for half-mile around including those of the San Jacinto Inn seafood restaurant next door. This was the last time any of Texas's main battery guns was discharged.
Many similar anecdotes related by former and current crew members, and the mute testimony of myriad subtle details of the ship's fabric itself, hint at the rich and alluring history of Texas.
Copyright (C) 1998 LDJ Trust