Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Farewell Voyage for the SS United States

SS United States in South Philadelphia
Passyunk Post reported that the SS United States, the once glamorous ocean liner docked near South Philadelphia's IKEA, might be moving to New York. In 1952 the ship crossed the Atlantic in about three and a half days, the fastest commercial voyage across the Atlantic to this day.

While ideas have occasionally floated around keeping the ship in Philadelphia as a destination attraction, perhaps a casino or large entertainment complex, the cost could easily exceed $300M. 

Other cities have expressed interest in the ship including Miami, Baltimore, and even Chester. But regardless of the high cost of renovation required, such an experimental venue would also need a promising return and Philadelphia's market may simply not be capable of maintaining such a unique space, at least not yet.

Wherever she ends up, be it Miami or Brooklyn, it's nice to see that the reverence of such history is being respected. 

Despite her dilapidated condition and stripped interior, the SS United States fared far better than her sister, the SS America, which broke loose from a tugboat in 1993 and ran aground off the coast of the Canary Islands where it cracked in half and spent the next twenty years slowly rusting into the sea.

SS America in the Canary Islands

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