Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

Gateway to San Francisco in the 1950s. Streamliners, the SP ferries and the Oakland Pier.

Southern Pacific Railroad’s OAKLAND PIER in the 1950s… Gateway to San Francisco… Southern Pacific was one of the nation’s major railroads with headquarters in San Francisco. It was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad Afternoon commuters stream from SP ferry Sacramento at Oakland Pier in the early 1950s. At the peak of Service, SP’s Steamer Division handled over 26 ... Read More »

A 1929 home movie aboard a coastal liner cruising from Florida to Savannah on the SS NANTUCKET…

Known as the “Queen of Sea,” the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company Steamship Line operated one of the finest fleets of passenger steamers on the Atlantic Coast and ranked foremost as one of America’s top tourist routes. It was said to be the only line plying between Baltimore, Savannah, and Jacksonville. HOME MOVIE OF COAST-WISE TRIP FROM FLORIDA TO SAVANNAH ... Read More »

The USS WILLIAMSBURG… President Harry Truman’s presidential yacht scrapped…

The steel-hulled, diesel-powered yacht Aras was laid down on March 19, 1930, by the Bath Iron Works; launched on December 8, 1930; and delivered to wood-pulp magnate Hugh J. Chisholm on January 15, 1931. The Aras, a long graceful steel ship, was sold in April 1941 to the US Navy for use as a patrol gunboat and re-christened it USS Williamsburg. ... Read More »

Alaska Steamship Company: First Class cruising to Alaska for $9.00 a day in the 1950s…

Sailing day meant excitement for the Alaska Steamship Company liners. Here is the SS Alaska sailing from Seattle in 1952. A look at the final days of the Alaska Steamship Company with a history of the famous organization that provided passenger service to the far north.  A fond farewell. The SS Denali ends the era of passenger service for the Alaska ... Read More »

Retro Thursday: Cruising to Bermuda and Nassau aboard the SS Evangeline in the 1950s…

Eastern Steamship Company was the last American Coastal steamship company offering cruises and overnight services from New York to Boston. Here is a great video of one of their ships sailing to Bermuda during the 1950s. Eastern Steamship’s SS Evangeline cruising to Bermuda 1950s… Bermuda-Nassau. 8 Day Cruises. From New York June 18, 28; July 7, 16, 26; August 4, 13, 23; ... Read More »

Crystal Cruises throws in the towel on saving the SS United States but activists continue the fight..

The S.S. United States, the world’s fastest ocean liner, won’t be sailing the seas again after all. The Titanic-size ship — which in its 1950s prime offered one of the most stylish ways to travel between New York and Europe — has been mothballed for decades, ever since jet travel ended the era of the trans-Atlantic super-liner. It is docked ... Read More »

RMS Titanic’s abandoned bodies…

It was April 23, 1912, at daybreak, out on the North Atlantic. The seascape looked every bit like a well-adorned graveyard, with an overcast sky, rolling fog and, as far as one could see, pieces of wreckage that bobbed in the swells. Doors, pillows, chairs, tables, and scattered remains were everywhere. White fragments dotted the debris — clustering and moving ... Read More »

Donald Trump backed Frank Gehry’s 8150 Sunset project will demolish Kurt Meyer-designed historic mid-Century Lytton Savings Building on the Sunset Strip.

Donald Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s wife are connected to the 8150 Sunset New York developers. Last Thursday the Los Angeles City Planning Commission (CPC) held a public hearing on the 8150 Sunset Project being developed by New York Angelo, Gordon – Townscape, designed by Frank Gehry. The Planning Commission, backed by the Los Angeles Planning Department, voted to ... Read More »

Mid-Century style and fire safety on the SS United States. Crystal Cruises saves America’s last great ocean liner

Crystal Cruises, knowing the values of maintaining mid-century design, are planning to bring back the SS United States 1950s and 1960s ocean liner into service. Jackie Gleason and John Wayne aboard the mid-century liner.  Upon her delivery to the United States Lines, the SS United States was most graceful, modern, powerful and sleekest vessel in the world. With her two oversized ... Read More »

The Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles. Torn down to make room for a parking lot. Developers continue to own Los Angeles politicians…

The Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles was a movie palace opened in January 1923 as Grauman’s Metropolitan Theatre. The largest theatre in Southern California. Movies and stage shows. Elvis Presley in person at the Paramount in person. Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood on the gigantic screen in “The Girl I Left Behind”… It was built by impresario Sid Grauman, who had ... Read More »