A reprieve for the fastest liner to cross the Atlantic has been given after the SS United States Conservancy has raised more than $600,000 in donations, including two donations of $250,000 and $100,000, from more than 800 supporters which will in turn see the ship stay berthed at Pier 82 in Philadelphia until well into next year.
The SS United States Conservancy group had made one last ditch appeal for donations to help save the ship after her future was becoming uncertain with funds running out and income looking very low. However, the short term future of the liner is secure but more funding will be required to secure the long term future of the ship. It is hoped that plans for turning the ship into a mixed used conference and museum venue will come to fruition.
The SS United States keel was laid in 1950 and the ship made her maiden voyage in July 1952 smashing the record for any ship to cross the Atlantic and gained the famous Blue Riband. She had broken Queen Mary’s record by over nine and a half hours. The United States was also designed to carry troops in times of war and with her sheer speed, she could carry troops with urgency.
The SS United States was then decommisioned in 1969 much to the dismay of the her crew. Over the years since, there has been false dawns for the ship including most recently in 2003 when Norwegian Cruise Line bought her and planned to extensively renovate the ship but with the finanicial downturn of 2008, the ship was then placed for sale in 2009 and in 2010, the SS United States Conservancy took control of the ship from NCL courtesy of a leadership grant from Philadelphia Philanthropist H.F Gerry. The ship has been under the control of the Conservancy ever since.
Whilst this is welcome news that she has been secured in the short term, it must be stressed that a lot of work, effort and finance is still required in order for her long term future to be secured.
Photo (c) SS United States Conservancy