In 1997, the management at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum made the decision to downsize and the SLATER was asked to find a new home. The ship was towed to Albany and arrived on October 27, 1997 to a crowd of well wishers. Here, a new group of volunteers took over and built upon the work begun in Manhattan.
Once the ship arrived in Albany, the most urgent need was to get it open to visitors as quickly as possible. A restoration philosophy was established which put bring the ship to an "Acceptable" standard, safe and clean, as the first priority; "Excellence," defined as completely restoring a compartment, with every piece of equipment and detail that the ship would have had while in service, was a goal that would have to be achieved in phases. This did not happen overnight, but over a period of years as manpower, time and equipment would allow.
The initial effort was in the superstructure and compartments above the main deck, the only spaces that were originally open to the public. Then the crew moved on to the second deck forward, restoring one major compartment a year. From there it was on to the three berthing spaces aft, and finally the aft machinery spaces.
In each compartment, the first step was to document what was already present, then research what should be there. The labor-intensive process to follow consisted of removing any remaining Greek modifications, scaling old paint and removing the thick layers of ceramic tile and grout that the Greek Navy added to many of the spaces. Subsequently, metal work was completed as brackets and shelves were added to receive the WWII-era equipment. Electrical modifications were made, including running new wiring and replacing post war electrical fixtures with authentic WWII parts. Compartments were then primed and spray painted. Each piece of new equipment was cleaned and restored prior to installation. Finally, the decks were painted and the restored areas opened to the public.