SS United States arrives in New York – 1950
Travel and Social History: Two more months and the SS United States may head to the scrap yard. Conservancy Hopes to Raise Enough to Save Ship With Help From Redevelopment Project.
The SS United States, docked in Philadelphia, has been working towards the goal of raising enough money to save the ship through the efforts of the SS United States Conservancy, whose executive director, Susan Gibbs, is the granddaughter of the ship’s designer.
The owners have been working to save the ship because they can’t afford the expensive maintenance. Now they are teaming up with the SS United States Redevelopment Project.
Excellent video on the SS United States…
Still time to save the SS UNITED STATES – click here for details…
Dan McSweeney, whose father worked as a steward on the ship, heads the redevelopment project. His goal is to turn it into a stationary entertainment complex and museum.
A work up of the vision for the SS United States waterfront development project.
“It’s an irreplaceable part of American history, and once it’s gone, it’ll never come back, and we’ll never have anything like it in the future,” McSweeney told CNN. “It’s not a vanity project. This is going to create jobs and be the crown jewel of a waterfront district.”
The ship is long, stretching 100 feet longer than the RMS Titanic, and fast, having set a record of a trans-Atlantic trip in three days, 10 hours and 42 minutes, a record that has still not been surpassed. The ship can carry 2,200 passengers. It was also designed to double as a troop transport if war broke out.
“You can’t set her on fire, you can’t sink her, and you can’t catch her,” said the designer, William Francis Gibbs, a naval architect responsible for designing nearly 5,500 navy vessels, who constructed the ship from fireproof materials.
“This is an extraordinary American achievement, an amazing expression of our post-war history, and it would be so tragic to see it destroyed,” said Gibbs, who didn’t get to know her grandfather, who died when she was young. “I’ve gotten to know him through this ship,” she said. “His spirit is here.”
The SS United States Conservancy launched a website where visitors can contribute $1 per square foot to sponsor the ship. According to Gibbs, they have about two months before they have to sell the ship for scrap metal, though Gibbs and Sweeney remain hopeful about their project.