Baltimore Harbor Boatyard, founded in 1892 by a Dutch immigrant, is the oldest and largest yachtyard in the United States.
It’s a testament to the work of its founder, George Willems, who built the boatyard and designed the original structure.
But this year, Willems died at the age of 90.
In an attempt to honor his legacy, Willem’s son-in-law, Charles Smith, built a replica of his father’s original boatyard in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, a small city of about 4,000 people about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of the city of Baltimore.
Smith told Ars that the replica is actually much larger than the original and, like the Willems’ original, it is made of fiberglass.
“The boatyard is the largest boatyard of its kind in the world,” Smith said.
“It’s a beautiful structure and a beautiful building, which is why it’s being rebuilt.
It was designed by George Willem, and he’s in his 70s.”
The replica is a modern, sleek and streamlined version of Willems original, which was a bit older than the current boatyard, said Smith.
“This is a much younger version, which we believe to be more in line with the Willem family,” he said.
Smith said the replica will be ready to sail in 2020.
He said the Wilems are working with local partners to create a community center and other facilities that will house the replica and help with the restoration and rebuilding.
“We’re trying to figure out how to do it in the most sustainable way,” he told Ars.
“That’s why we’re doing this in the first place.”
Smith said it’s been about a year since Willems boatyard was finished.
“George Willems was a visionary,” Smith added.
“He did something incredible and his vision for this building was incredible.”