In this two-page spread, Macaulay examines the interaction between the propeller and the boiler.

Click image to enlarge.

Sketches showing how the propellers, turbines, and boilers worked together to generate power. Click image to enlarge.

Gibbs’ new ship would be driven by four screw propellers each turned by a pair of turbines producing 60,000 horsepower. High temperature, high pressure boilers would superheat the steam to around 900 degrees. This would spin the blades of a high pressure turbine at 5,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). That same steam would then be piped into a larger low pressure turbine, spinning its blades at 3,500 rpm. A set of double reduction gears would link both turbine shafts to a single propeller shaft creating a ideal speed of around 200 rpm. 

Under each low pressure turbine was a condenser containing several hundred closely-spaced tubes through which cold water from below the ship was channeled. When exhausted steam passed between the tubes, it was converted back into water, creating a vacuum that drew more steam into the condenser. Water was collected in a hot well below each condenser and then pumped through various tubes for cleaning and reheating on its way back to the boiler. 

He also compares the Big U’s engine to the Queen Mary’s.

Queen Mary was equipped with single reduction gears. Her engines produced just 40,000 horsepower, she was 30 feet longer, 17 feet wider, 6 feet taller, sat 8 feet deeper in the water, and was 30,000 tons heavier. This was never going to be a fair fight.

READ MORE

Photo courtesy of Beverly Jackson.

Photo courtesy of Beverly Jackson.

I joined forces with my parents for a going away party held in their stateroom for those who came to see you off. Until I entered my own room and saw flowers everywhere, I confess I was apprehensive that maybe no one would send me any, but all my beaus came through! Then came the time when the party must end: “All ashore who are going ashore!” blasted over the loud speaker and off the visitors went down the gang plank while the orchestra played.

READ MORE

PaulMacCarthy2_wm

It’s a very famous call sign. Whenever you were talking to someone from the ship, anywhere around the world, it was the first thing you would say: this is Superliner United States KJEH. If you were talking to somebody in Dubai, you’d say, “This is Kilo-Juliette-Echo-Hotel.” If you were talking to somebody nearby, you’d say KJEH, because they’d know. It was the night before we arrived on one of the last trip coming across from the UK to New York; for dinner on the last night there were special menus and special music, all the guys would be wearing their best tuxedos, and the women in formal evening dress looking a like a million. A couple came in after dinner, they said to me, “We want to make a call to a very small town in New Jersey, Saddle River — you’ve probably never heard of it.” ”Heard of it?” I said, “I live in Upper Saddle River.” It’s a small world.

READ MORE

Here we will share firsthand accounts from those whose lives crossed paths with the ship — passengers, crewmembers, shipbuilders, and more. The SS United States touched many lives all over the world, and not always in ways you’d expect. These transmissions from the ship’s past and present ensure the intangible history of the SS United States lives on. By broadcasting stories from individuals with deep connections to the ship, we can transmit her great legacy into the future. Join us, won’t you?

READ MORE

Photo courtesy of Frank Slate Brooks.

Photo courtesy of Frank Slate Brooks.

We invite you to join us for our special summer gathering, hosted by Frank Slate Brooks, Conservancy Advisory Council & Blue Riband Council member, and Southeastern Chapter co-chair.

READ MORE

Dear Conservancy Supporters:

I am writing to thank you for your continued support of the SS United States and to share a brief update on our progress.  As you know, in February the SS United States Conservancy signed an exclusive option agreement with Crystal Cruises in hopes of returning America’s Flagship to seagoing service.  Crystal executives, including President & CEO Edie Rodriguez and her technical advisors, convened in Philadelphia over the weekend to assess progress and plans.  In recent months, Crystal has been evaluating the various technical issues and requirements of the ship’s potential conversion. The historic vessel must be completely re-engineered to comply with modern rules and standards, while retaining her historic profile and visual cues. This is an exhilarating — and challenging — undertaking, and it takes time. Crystal is covering all of the ship’s monthly carrying costs as this feasibility study progresses.

READ MORE

Photo courtesy of Byron Huart.

Although Byron Huart, maritime historian and photographer, travels the world documenting ships, the SS United States will always hold a special place in his heart. “Whenever I’m in Philly, I always go down to photograph her at sunrise or sunset,” Huart told Philadelphia Tribune staff writer Bobbi Booker. “I consider the SS United States a ship that has cheated death many times.”

READ MORE

dp-pictures-ss-united-states-current-condition-046

The SS United States in her current berth in Philadelphia. Photo by Shana Gray.

Hugh Lessig of the Daily Press covers the Conservancy’s recent acquisition of over 600 artifacts, and how that will further the Conservancy’s education and preservation goals. Lessig notes that in tandem with the ongoing option agreement with Crystal, the Conservancy is focused on developing a land-based exhibitions to tell the story of the SS United States in more detail.

READ MORE

The Mariners’ Museum of Newport News Makes Major Donation of Furniture, Fittings, Artwork, and Historic Photos as SS United States Conservancy Advances Museum Plans

WASHINGTON DC — Continuing its commitment to protect and showcase the legacy of America’s Flagship, the SS United States, the SS United States Conservancy is proud to announce the acquisition of more than 600 artifacts to its growing curatorial collection.  The generous donation of artwork, fittings, furniture, and historic documents from the ship was made by The Mariners’ Museum of Newport News, VA, as well as the Dr. Sarah E. Forbes Collection, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hunnicutt III, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

READ MORE

tissot_SSUSFirstClassPrivateRestaurant1

The stunning Charles Lin Tissot panels as they appeared in their heyday in the SS United States’ private dining room.
(Photo courtesy of the Carl Weber collection).

The Conservancy has been moving forward “full speed ahead” with its curatorial and historic preservation programs. We are delighted to share that we’ve acquired an important panel designed by artist Charles Lin Tissot that originally hung in the SS United States‘ private dining room — the most exclusive dining area aboard the Big U. The panel, known as the “Snowflake Crystal Montage,” features crystal sculptures mounted on highly polished aluminum sheets.

READ MORE

Macaulay exhibition_video still

Video still courtesy of United States Lines.

The SS United States Conservancy and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, are partnering with renowned author/illustrator and Conservancy Advisory Council Member, David Macaulayon a very exciting exhibition “Superliner United States Writes Headlines” slated to be unveiled in fall 2017.

READ MORE

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Photo by Stephen Mallon.

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Photo by Stephen Mallon.

National Geographic perfectly captures the SS United States‘ magnificence and historical significance in a beautifully-illustrated story written by Robert Kunzig and photographed by Stephen Mallon.

READ MORE

Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez (left) and Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs (right) with Fox and Friends co-hosts

Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez (left) and Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs (right) on the set of Fox and Friends

Fox and Friends interviewed Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs and Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. They discussed what the latest option-agreement has in store for America’s Flagship, and how the Conservancy’s mission to preserve her artifacts is more important than ever.

READ MORE

The Conservancy’s announcement that it has entered into an option agreement with Crystal Cruises to bring the SS United States back into service in tandem with the Conservancy’s ongoing curatorial and historic preservation programs received worldwide media attention.

National television coverage included Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs and Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez appearing on Fox and Friends as well as a story on CBS This Morning.

READ MORE

The Conservancy’s announcement that it has entered into an option agreement with Crystal Cruises to bring the SS United States back into service in tandem with its ongoing curatorial and historic preservation programs received worldwide media attention.

The news about the SS United States’ momentous milestone went global, with stories in many international outlets. You can read the articles here: The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Toronto Sun, La Repubblica (Italy), and La Nacion (Argentina).

READ MORE

The Conservancy’s February 4 announcement that it has entered into an option agreement with Crystal Cruises to bring the SS United States back into service received extensive news coverage throughout many media outlets.

While the breaking news was covered by hundreds of television and print outlets all over the world, many travel and maritime websites and blogs also joined in and covered the news. You can read the articles and blogs here: Travel Weekly, Conde Nast Traveler, Maritime Matters, Maritime Professional, Travel Daily News, Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys (February 6 podcast, first hour, 24:50), Travels with Anthony, Crystal Cruises, and Mark B. Perry’s Hollywood Raconteur.

READ MORE

PLANS ANNOUNCED TO RESTORE AMERICA’S FLAGSHIP

Crystal signs exclusive purchase option agreement to begin work on returning the historic vessel to service as the fastest cruise vessel in the world
 

NEW YORK, February 4, 2016 – Already in the midst of the most significant expansion in the company’s celebrated history, Crystal Cruises’ next step in expanding its award-winning fleet is truly an historic endeavor. Together with the SS United States Conservancy, Crystal today announced it will save “America’s flagship,” the SS United States, and embark on the enormous undertaking of bringing the ship into compliance with the latest standards, and returning her to oceangoing service. During the announcement, made at a press conference at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City, Crystal also committed to covering all costs associated with preserving the ship while undertaking a technical feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

READ MORE

The following statement was released by the Conservancy today:

“The Conservancy is planning to make on announcement on February 4 about the future of the SS United States. Unfortunately, we can’t provide additional information at this time, but more information will be released in the coming days. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support and enthusiasm as momentum continues to build on behalf of America’s Flagship.”

READ MORE

We are thrilled to announce an exciting and generous challenge grant from a supporter who has requested anonymity. This supporter has committed $50,000 to the Conservancy – if we can match it dollar for dollar!

Funds raised will support the conservancy’s crucial preservation efforts and help us build the conservancy’s permanent curatorial collection of SS United States art and artifacts. Momentum continues to build in support of america’s flagship and the conservancy is deeply grateful for such generous support. Donations of any size can be made HERE.

READ MORE

December 2015 – Soundings Magazine’s Mary South covers the SS United States

 

READ MORE

Historic cruise ship gets $600,000 lifeline as preservationists save it from scrapyard November 25, 2015 – Fox News

 

READ MORE

RALLYING AROUND OUR FLAGSHIP: SS UNITED STATES RECEIVES MAJOR DONATIONS, CONSERVANCY BOARD REJECTS SCRAP BIDS

Organization Working to Save and Repurpose America’s Flagship Announces More than $600,000 Raised in Seven Weeks

WASHINGTON DC… November 24, 2015 - In early October, the SS United States Conservancy was only weeks away from being forced to sell America’s Flagship to a recycler. However, thanks to the generosity of supporters from around the world to the #SaveTheUnitedStatescampaign,we are pleased to announce that we have raised sufficient funds to keep the ship afloat well into next year.  The Conservancy had announced last month that it had retained a broker to explore the ship’s sale to a U.S.-based recycler because of the financial burdens imposed by the 1,000-foot-long liner’s monthly expenses.The Conservancy acquired the SS United States in 2011 and has been working to convert the historic vessel into a mixed-use museum and development complex.

Thanks to several major donations, as well as additional contributions from more than 800 supporters, the Conservancy’s Board of Directors voted late Monday not to accept any of the three bids submitted by the recyclers. The Conservancy has now raised well over $600,000 since it issued last month’s SOS, including two $100,000 gifts and a $250,000 donation. The Conservancy’s board was also encouraged by recent progress on the redevelopment front.“People from the world over have sent a loud and clear message that the SS United States must not be destroyed,” stated Susan Gibbs, the Conservancy’s Executive Director. “From a 6th grader named Thomas in Florida who sent in a $5 bill along with a wonderful drawing of the ship in red, white, and blue magic marker, to our three extraordinary leadership donors, the outpouring of support has been incredibly encouraging.The SS United States has been given a temporary lifeline, and we are now powerfully positioned to advance our shared goal of saving America’s Flagship for future generations.”

As a result of the campaign, which was covered in hundreds of media outlets in dozens of countries, the Conservancy’s ongoing redevelopment negotiations have also gained new momentum.  Prior to October’s SOS campaign launch, the Conservancy had already identified two potential locations that could accommodate the vessel, and new investor interest in recent weeks has introduced new possibilities and programming concepts for the historic liner. “Several qualified partners have recently made site visits with their engineers, architects and executives,” said Gibbs.”The possibilities for the SS United States’ revitalization are truly exciting.”

The $250,000 donation was made by a West Coast supporter, who expressed his desire to remain anonymous. In a statement to the Conservancy’s Board he said: “Letting the SS United States go to the breakers would be like letting the Statue of Liberty be melted down and turned into pennies. Unthinkable.Imagine a future in which this incredible, one-of-a-kind symbol of American know-how has been preserved, ready to be experienced by visitors of all ages.”

Former SS United States deck officer Richard O’Leary also stepped up and contributed $100,000 to the effort.  “I believe strongly that the Conservancy’s effort must succeed,” stated O’Leary.  “This ship represents a grand example of what Americans can accomplish. To illuminate her red, white and blue stacks once again would serve as a gleaming and powerful symbol and would showcase the greatness of this country.  I invite others to join me in supporting this important cause.”

Cruise industry executive Jim Pollin, whose generous contributions and challenge grant in 2014 helped keep the ship afloat and saved one of its propellers, also contributed $100,000.  “The SS United States has again inspired people around the world to action,” Pollin said.  “What message would it send to the world if we allowed one of our soaring national symbols to be destroyed?  We can’t let that happen. We must save our Flagship.”

With the ship’s immediate future secured, the Conservancy will continue its ongoing negotiations with existing and new developers who are actively engaged in exploring options for the ship’s adaptive reuse.”This immediate lifeline gives us crucial time to finalize a redevelopment agreement that will secure a long-term sustainable solution for the ship,” said Gibbs.  “We are more confident now than we have ever been that we will finally achieve our goal and bring new life to this great symbol of American history, design, and innovation.”

 
Read the New York Times coverage of this breaking news! 

READ MORE

The Conservancy is very pleased to announce receipt of a major in-kind donation: Anode Solutions Inc. and Anode Systems Company have teamed up to offer expert cathodic protection support to the SS United States.   

 

All steel-hulled ships are at risk of corrosion because of complicated chemical reactions that occur when metals meet water, and these galvanic threats can be minimized by installing “sacrificial anodes” – electrochemically active metals – on the ship’s hull. Thankfully, the brackish water of the Delaware River has minimized these threats, and the hull of the SS United States remains strong.  However, this support from Anode Solutions and Anode Systems Company will include an in-depth assessment and provide additional protection as the ship is readied for redevelopment.

 

READ MORE

Image courtesy of New York Chapter C0-chair Paul Stipkovich

Image courtesy of New York Chapter C0-chair Paul Stipkovich

Although never called into duty, the SS United States was always at the ready to serve her country in the event of war. Designed for quick transformation from luxury liner to troop carrier, the SS United States could transport 15,000 troops 10,000 miles without refueling!

This past Veteran’s Day, our New York Chapter marched in “America’s Parade” in New York City – we could not have been more proud. New York Chapter members who escorted the Big U’s mighty funnels down 5th Avenue included Ely, Michael, William, Ralph, Cassie, Janette, Donald, Jaye, Carl, Glenn, Susan (and friend), Delia, Paul and Freddie.  The Conservancy also thanks board member Dan McSweeney, United War Veterans Council President, for providing us with this opportunity. Check out the photos below of our wonderful supporters who went above and beyond!

To our nation’s veterans and active-duty soldiers – we salute you!

 

READ MORE

At the beginning of October, the SS United States Conservancy’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to engage a broker to explore the possible sale of the SS United States. That decision was made in an effort to ensure that our organization was being as financially responsible as possible given the persistent challenge of covering the vessel’s $60,000 monthly carrying costs. Since that time, there has been an outpouring of support worldwide that demonstrates the enduring importance of America’s Flagship to a growing, global community. The ship has garnered major media attention from outlets at the local, national, and international levels. While the numbers are not yet final, the Conservancy has raised well over $100,000 as a result of this global call to action. These resources have given us some additional time to advance our redevelopment plans in conjunction with several potential partners. Those discussions and negotiations have picked up momentum in recent weeks as well.

This progress has been made thanks to your commitment, and we are still compiling the necessary information to help the Board fully and responsibly evaluate our current situation from a financial and redevelopment standpoint. As a result, the Board has opted to defer any additional determination about the ship’s immediate future until later this month.

READ MORE


We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the Conservancy’s “Star-Spangled Fundraiser” at Philadelphia’s historic Union League on October 29.  The event raised crucial funds for the SS United States and drew Conservancy supporters from as far away as Spain, California, Hawaii, Florida, and Illinois. The event drew nine Conservancy chapter chairs from across the country and Europe, and beloved Southeastern US chapter chair, Jordan Morris, was with us in spirit.  We were also honored to have former crew members in attendance, including Joe RotaJim Green, and Alex Keisch.

The evening’s highlights included soaring musical perfomances of original songs inspired by the SS United States by renowned musicians Marc Jonson and Dan Landau.  Rachel Neitzke’s dance performance to Dan Landau’s “To Every Journey” was spellbinding.

Huge thanks to our event sponsors:

 

Dr. Marie Prewett,  Kevin Billings, Atlantic Logistics, Shady Brook Farms, Typetanic Fonts, Cardno, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Williamette Valley Vineyards, Broker’s London Dry Gin, WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, Woodford Reserve,  Zonin1829 Wine, & Flying Fish Brewing Co.

 

Thank you to all the contributors to the event’s silent auction and raffle, including:

 

Kyle Ober, Dotty Duddy, Independence Seaport Museum, Maria Mijares, Mario Alvarez-Garcillán, Laura. D Zajac & LDZ Design, Ted Piersol & Honeybrook Gold Club, Paul Stipkovich, Glenn Lappin, and Christopher Moody & Life Celebrations Services. 
Congratulations to Paul Stipkovich and Bill Magee for receiving the Conservancy’s special awards for their ongoing outreach on behalf of the SS United States.  Ray Griffiths and his colleagues at Atlantic Logistics were also honored for their outstanding work on keeping the ship safe and secure at her Philadelphia pier.

Again, we can’t thank you enough for your support!  Momentum is truly building to Save the United States!

Photos courtesy of Kyle Ober

 

READ MORE

Time running on piece of American history October 26, 2015 – NBC News

READ MORE

Time running on piece of American history October 23. 2015 – Fox News

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on Fox News. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Legendary ocean liner faces scrapheap without new funds October 20. 2015 – Yahoo News (AFPTV)

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in Yahoo News (AFPTV). The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Iconic ship in danger of being scrapped, could seek N.Y. move October 20. 2015 – New York Daily News

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in New York Daily News. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Luxusliner “SS United States”: Das Ende des Kennedy-Dampfers October 19. 2015 – Spiegel Online

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in German Language Spiegel Online. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

El transatlántico “United States” se niega a morir October 16. 2015 – Periodico Digital

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured Spanish Language Periodico Digital. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Scrapyard beckons SS United States but surely the great ocean liner is worth saving October 16. 2015 – iTV

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on iTV. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Le paquebot de légende qui ne veut pas mourir October 16. 2015 – Le Matin

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on French language newspaper Le Matin. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Campaign to Save the SSUS Racing the Clock to Avoid the Scrapyard October 15. 2015 – Time Warner Cable NY1

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on Time Warner Cable NY1. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

SS United States May Be Sold for Scrap October 15. 2015 – History

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on History. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Supporters of Historic SS United States Send SOS October 15. 2015 – The Associated Press

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in The Associated Press. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Don’t Sink the SS United States October 13. 2015 – Observer

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in Observer. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Destined for the scrapyard: Once the world’s most majestic ocean liner, the SS United States is just weeks away from being recycled October 11. 2015 – Daily Mail

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on Daily Mail. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Famed SS United States possibly doomed to the scrapyard October 10. 2015 – CBS News

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on CBS News. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

Conservancy Board Votes to Explore Sale; Sends Out Urgent Call to Prevent Scrapping of Famed Vessel

The SS United States Conservancy’s Board of Directors has released the following statement announcing that despite considerable progress toward finding a permanent home and advancing viable redevelopment plans for America’s Flagship, the organization will be forced to sell the historic vessel to a responsible metals recycler by the end of October unless new donors or investors come forward.  The Conservancy has never been closer to saving the SS United States, nor so close to losing her.

The Conservancy’s recent progress in support of the SS United States‘ redevelopment – as well as its continued challenges – are featured in today’s New York TimesTo read the story, click here. 

 

As you know, the SS United States is the largest and most advanced ocean liner ever built in her namesake nation. Launched in 1952, the ship was developed as part of a top-secret Cold War project to build the fastest ship in the world. She still holds the transatlantic speed record, and is an iconic symbol of America’s post-war power, pride and innovation.

 

The Conservancy continues to do everything possible to support the SS United States’ redevelopment and honor the legacy of America’s Flagship through its educational and curatorial programs.

 

We remain profoundly grateful for your continued support. Our members and donors from across the nation and around the world have literally kept the SS United States afloat. Thank you for your donations, for purchasing tickets to our special event in Philadelphia on October 29, and for helping us spread the word. We will do everything possible to answer your questions and keep you informed in the weeks to come.

 

The statement from the Conservancy’s Board of Directors appears below:

 

“After much deliberation and consultation, the SS United States Conservancy’s Board of Directors has decided to retain a broker to explore the potential sale of America’s Flagship, the SS United States to a responsible, U.S.-based metals recycler.

“We have achieved an extraordinary amount of progress in support of the SS United States‘ potential redevelopment in recent months, including detailed plans, financial models, renderings, and engineering approaches with support from a number of major firms. In so many ways, we’ve never been closer to saving America’s Flagship, but we have also never been closer to losing this irreplaceable piece of our history. 

 

“The Conservancy has been very clear in its communications to its supporters and the media that the carrying costs for the vessel total more than $60,000 per month. While our fundraising effortshave enabled us to meet those continuing obligations to date, thanks to the steadfast support of donors from across the nation and around the world, the financial burdens imposed bythe ship’s ongoing expenses have become unsustainable.

 

“The Conservancy continues to do everything within its power to advance an outcome that protects the vessel, preserves her historical legacy, and secures a viable redevelopment program. As we have announced previously, redevelopment negotiations are ongoing. We have identified two potential locations that can accommodate the ship, and we are continuing complex talks with various entities regarding these sites. These ongoing discussions remain subject to confidentiality agreements signed by both parties.

 

Despite this progress in our redevelopment negotiations, the timing of additional financial support from our partners may come too late, in the absence of another party willing to support the Conservancy or assume responsibility for the vessel at this time.

 

If donors or investors step forward by the end of the month who are ready, willing, and able to help the Conservancy, America’s Flagship could still be saved. However, if progress toward a new sales option or an infusion of funds does not occur by October 31, 2015, we will have no choice but to negotiate the sale of the ship to a responsible U.S.-based recycler.

 

“Given the lead time required to broker the vessel’s potential sale, we believe it would be irresponsible to delay the start of this contingency planning.

 

“Choosing to explore these options was a gut-wrenching decision for the Board, but the Conservancy simply cannot exhaust all of its funds, leaving the organization in debt or with no resources to support its curatorial and education mission.

 

“We remain deeply committed to honoring the legacy of the SS United States through our curatorial and educational programs, and we will continue to prioritize this important work.

 

We take our responsibility to our supporters and to the Conservancy’s mission very seriously, which is why we believe that despite recent progress and potentially positive scenarios, this course of action is necessary.

 

The sale of the vessel to a recycler is by no means inevitable. We remain hopeful that our developers can continue to advance their efforts or that additional financial support will be found in time.

 

“The SS United States is a unique and endangered historic landmark that has captivated the imagination of millions. We are determined to do everything possible during these final weeks to try to save her.

 

“The SS United States supporters from across the country and around the world have become like family. We have worked together against the odds to keep the nation’s last remaining and greatest ocean liner safely afloat. The ship has faced previous dangers and has withstood them, and we hope she can beat the odds again. Anything less would be, as Walter Cronkite once said, “a crime against history.”

READ MORE

Friends of the S.S. United States Send Out a Last S.O.S. October 7.2015 – The New York Times

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in The New York Times. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

READ MORE

The story behind that massive ship across from IKEA: Once the fastest in the world, one day you might party there September 23, 2015 – BILLYPENN.COM

 

The SS United States was recently featured on BILLYPENN.COM as part of their ongoing “Secret Philly” series. In addition to a general history of the Big U, the SS United States Conservancy is highlighted for its ongoing work to save the ship.

You can read the full article here.

READ MORE

We invite you to join us for a very special evening on October 29 at the historic Union League in Philadelphia. (Note that this event was originally scheduled for September 17.)
We are planning to recreate an evening aboard the SS United States, complete with a premier performance of original music in honor of the ship, special food and drink offerings, dancing, and more.

Corporate Sponsorship Brochure is now available with a variety of great sponsorship incentives. We are asking our members to circulate these brochures with interested parties!

Standard admission tickets are also now available for order on our website or via mail order. Be sure to RSVP and order your tickets today!

READ MORE

Thank for your ticket order! Your name(s) have been added to the guest list. Your Paypal receipt will serve as confirmation of your order. Please click the back button below to return to the event page.

Move your mouse over me

READ MORE

Now Celebrated in Song, SS United States Still Needs Help August 18, 2015 – Daily Press

artworks-000126172011-6mzzsm-t500x500

READ MORE

(Photo courtesy of Kyle Ober)

(Photo courtesy of Kyle Ober)

On July 30, the Conservancy convened a brainstorming and planning session focused on our future SS United States ”digital exhibition.”  Renowned author-illustrator David Macaulay led participants through a discussion about how the legendary ship could potentially be explored and encountered digitally.

READ MORE

Dear Conservancy Supporters:

Earlier this summer the Conservancy provided an update on the progress of our redevelopment efforts, including sharing exciting new architectural renderings.  We also announced that while redevelopment planning was advancing, our exclusive option agreement had expired, and our partners were no longer required to pay the ship’s carrying costs.
That means that to keep the ship safely afloat while pre-development due diligence is completed, we must meet our campaign goal of $180,000 to support the vessel’s short-term  insurance, pier rental and maintenance costs.  Without these additional funds, we can’t afford to cover the bills – totaling approximately $60,000 per month – needed to keep the ship in the water.
This is not the first time the SS United States has faced grave danger. She is afloat today only because people from across the country and around the world have pulled together to help.
We’ve made great strides in recent months toward finding suitable permanent locations for the ship and identifying how best to activate the ship’s commercial potential.  We have also advanced a range of potential public uses for the vessel, including a museum/educational center, performing arts space, public park amenities, energy generation, a maritime school, and a center for veteran support.  However, until a new agreement is finalized, the fate of the SS United States is in our hands.
We have asked for your help before, but we are asking again at this absolutely crucial time because we believe that America’s Flagship deserves to be given every opportunity to survive.
There are many ways to contribute and participate, from donating, giving a gift membership, posting on social media, and supporting our fall events.  Our kick-off campaign tee shirt is available HERE, and other special campaign features will be announced in the coming weeks.In the words of Advisory Council member David Macaulay, the ship “remains a powerful reminder of American ingenuity, vision, and skill, while at the same time sparking imagination and inspiring dreams yet to be realized.”

Our “dream yet to be realized” is that the revitalized SS United States will endure as an extraordinary physical space and a soaring symbol of what’s possible.  Thank you for joining us as we work to make this dream come true.  We haven’t come this far to let go of the ship’s safety line that, together, we have worked so hard to create.In gratitude,

           Susan Gibbs signature

Susan Gibbs, Executive Director

 

READ MORE

The restored SS United States as rendered by renowned author-illustrator David Macaulay. Macaulay continues to advise the Conservancy on curatorial issues, including its forthcoming digital exhibition.  The Norman Rockwell Museum has begun planning a special exhibition that will feature David Macaulay's fascinating explorations of the SS United States, beginning with his initial shipboard encounter as a ten-year-old transatlantic passenger.

The restored SS United States as rendered by renowned author-illustrator David Macaulay. Macaulay continues to advise the Conservancy on curatorial issues, including its forthcoming digital exhibition. The Norman Rockwell Museum has begun planning a special exhibition that will feature Macaulay’s fascinating explorations of the SS United States, beginning with his initial shipboard encounter as a ten-year-old transatlantic passenger.

For me the most important reason for developing the SS United States is simply to preserve its iconic form. In other words, it’s all about the view — the elegant lines, the breathtaking scale and the bold no-nonsense colors. But this is no trivial matter. Whether she travels the sea or rests at a city pier, this ship still has the power to transport those on board and particularly those who see and approach her from a distance.

Once the fastest ocean liner in the world, built to carry presidents, movie stars and ten-year-old kids like me, just the appearance of the SS United States remains a powerful reminder of American ingenuity, vision, and skill while at the same time sparking imagination and inspiring dreams yet to be realized.

In this sketch I returned to the simplicity of the ship’s exterior to hint at the juxtaposition of this “horizontal” skyscraper against a dynamic urban context and possible port of call.

READ MORE

Here are 8 photos that I took on board or circling The SS United States. These were done when I was with “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1966. We were shooting a TV special: “Merv Griffin’s Sidewalks of New York” which was syndicated to stations throughout the United States. We spent the morning and mid afternoon on the ship shooting when it was in dock at its pier in New York harbor. We then sailed with the ship as it was departing for its voyage. Once we got past the Verrazano Bridge, we left the ship via the tug boat that was guiding the United States out of harbor and then returned to the pier. So while we technically “sailed” on the United States, we never got out into the actual ocean. I forget the song Merv was singing on board. He did a lip sync to the recording and there was no actual band or live singing on the ship. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, there is no copy of the actual TV special we made which included the footage we shot.

Albert Fisher

READ MORE

National Treasure: SS United States, June 14, 2015 – Parade Magazine

Parade Magazine ran an article on the SS United States June 16, 2015. The article is part of an ongoing series by Parade that highlights the country’s most important “National Treasures.”

READ MORE

contest

Instagram Contest: Model the SS United States

 

READ MORE

Longtime supporter Michael O’Byrne recently donated a small plate, punch cup, and beverage server to the SS United States Conservancy. The three items were originally used on the SS United States during the ship’s years of service and remained on board until being purchased by Gwendolyn Wilder in an auction held in October of 1984. Gwendolyn then gifted the items to her dear friend, Michael. Michael’s donation of these items was made in honor of Gwendolyn whose life and love of the ship is briefly detailed below.

IMG_3654

READ MORE

The SS United States remains afloat today only because so many people have rallied in support of America’s Flagship.  From the Conservancy’s advisory council, chapter chairs, key donors, board, staff, former passengers and crew, and active volunteers, our community is incredible. Here are a few updates from key members of the Conservancy’s “family”:

Conservancy co-founder Dan McSweeney has taken the helm of the United War Veterans Council, departing from his position as managing director of the Conservancy’s SS United States Redevelopment Project.  Dan has made enormous contributions to the Conservancy over the years, and we are thrilled that he will remain on the Conservancy board as he assumes an important leadership role on behalf of the nation’s veterans.   

READ MORE

Dutchman wants to save SS United States from demolition, April 23, 2015 – RTL Nieuws

The SS United States was featured on Dutch national television (RTL Nieuws.)  The story highlighted Conservancy Advisory Council member Casper van Hooren’s work on the successful conversion of the SS Rotterdam, an encouraging model for the SS United States.  Conservancy executive director Susan Gibbs and Conservancy supporter Charles Howland’s incredible collection of artifacts from the SS United States were also featured.

READ MORE

SS United States Journey August, 1969

By Suzanne Jarvis

 

In August of 1969 my family and I sailed on the SS United States from England to New York. It was one of the last crossings of the Atlantic before the ship was retired. We traveled with our very close family friends Marge and George Felton and their daughters. The crossing started out fun with bingo, practical jokes and a dance contest. And then we met Debbie.

READ MORE

1964

1964

American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson was among the great number of famous personalities who crossed the Atlantic aboard the SS United States. Although she almost always suffered from seasickness, sailing on the ocean was one of the things she most loved to do. In an excerpt from her personal diary, written aboard the ship between March 30th and April 4th, 1961 Miss Jackson described her journey this way:

READ MORE

Howard E. Lee (left) observes the funnels smoke trail during the wind tunnel test.

Howard E. Lee (left) observes the funnels smoke trail during the wind tunnel test.

“Preventing fumes on decks from the funnels has always been a headache for ship designers. Although it was proved that the streamlined funnel design of William Francis Gibbs used previously on the SS Santa Rosa and her three sister ships and on the SS America, was also suitable for the great SS United States, some changes were made in order to definitely improve the results. The idea was surprisingly simple and consisted of modifying the fins angle by making them parallel to the ship’s keel and not raked aft, as in all of Gibbs’ previous designs.

READ MORE

The Legacy Project is an on-going initiative aimed at collecting, preserving, and archiving photographs, visual materials, and the stories related to passengers and crew who traveled in, helped build, and/or served aboard our nation’s flagship, the SS United States. For more information, visit our website. Want to share your story? Email us at info@ssusc.org.

SSUSC-OralHistory-Bauer01-1

READ MORE

For Engineer, Penn State Was Another Big Ship by Amy Caputo, February 12, 2015 - www.news.psu.edu

The man’s name is Nick Landiak. He has quite an impressive background, and he’s eager to share it. Landiak accrued two careers, similar in nature but vastly different in execution; he once was a senior engineering officer for the world’s fastest ocean liner before coming to Penn State and helping to rebuild the University’s internal utility systems in the 1970s and ’80s before retiring in 1986.”

READ MORE

Inspired by Pollin Challenge Grant, Anonymous Donor Jump-starts 2015 Fundraising with Generous Gift for Curatorial Planning

As we enter a new and exciting year for America’s Flagship, the Conservancy is proud to announce that we have received of one of our largest ever individual contributions. The gift of $250,000 was made by an anonymous donor who was inspired by the generosity and passion exhibited by cruise industry executive Jim Pollin. Last year Jim donated an initial $120,000, followed by a generous challenge grant. Supporters from across the country and around the world answered Jim’s call to action by donating $120,000, prompting Jim to match this amount. Jim was recently honored with the Conservancy’s National Flagship Champion Award.

READ MORE

Macaulay — Stern Image #1

Here are some sketches from the stern–the business end of the United States. In number 1, I’m just trying to get the scale of everything right as I show some of the key elements such as the propellers, bossings, and rudder. The bossing is the wing-like structure that supports the propeller shaft. Since there are two propellers on each side of the ship, there are also two bossings on each side. The structure is partly disassembled here to show some of the subassemblies that make up the structure around the rudder. The space between the steel plates, depending on exactly where they are, is filled either with seawater or fuel oil.

READ MORE

2014 Conservancy Highlights

Thanks to support from our members throughout the year, the tide has finally begun to turn for the SS United States.  The Conservancy recently announced an initial redevelopment agreement with partners committed to covering the ship’s carrying costs as their plans advance.  While many challenges loom – converting the magnificent liner into a spectacular mixed-use museum and development complex is a daunting undertaking – we’ve never been closer to saving the SS United States.  Your continued support will help us advance our shipboard museum and educational center, build our archival and curatorial collections, document and disseminate the ship’s history, plan for contingencies, and prepare the ship for her next journey.

READ MORE

Dear SS United States Conservancy Supporters:We are very pleased to confirm that we have now entered into a preliminary agreement in support of the redevelopment of the SS United States.  Negotiations have been underway for some time, and planning will continue with a variety of stakeholders. While further due diligence is conducted, the Conservancy will receive financial support to cover the vessel’s core carrying costs for at least an additional three months.

The project remains at an early and delicate phase, but we wanted to update our supporters about this encouraging development. As you can appreciate, the ship’s potential redevelopment represents a multifaceted engineering, real estate, and curatorial undertaking that will take considerable time to advance. Many challenges must still be overcome. However, we are fortunate that our new partners are very well equipped to handle this unique project’s scope and scale, and the Conservancy looks forward to working closely with them in the months to come.

READ MORE

SS United States Conservancy Has “High Hopes” To Save Famous Liner;
Reaches Major Funding Milestone
by Josh Koshuta, October 9, 2014 – www.travelpage.com

The Conservancy announced that it had raised $122,167 from donors in 44 states in 17 countries in amounts spanning one dollar to ten thousand. In response, Jim Pollin upped the ante: “Our nation’s flagship isn’t just an historic vessel,” Pollin said. “It also represents the people of a great and determined nation that once again have demonstrated they can rise to any challenge. In response to the generosity of so many supporters of the SS United States, I am proud to match their recent contributions with an additional donation of $120,000 to save this enduring symbol of our country.”

READ MORE

SS United States Crow's Nest

Photo courtesy Christine D. Hower

In June, cruise industry executive Jim Pollin pledged to match up to $100,000 of new supporter donations to benefit the SS United States. Last week, the Conservancy announced that we were only $2,072 away from that $100,000 goal. Just one week later, we are thrilled to announce that we have received $122,167 in donations eligible for matching — prompting Jim to raise his initial pledge by $20,000, and match $120,000!

READ MORE

America’s Lost Liners by Jonathan Boonzaier, September 2014, Trade Winds Magazine.

“Over the next two to three months we will either pull this off or we will have to face the unthinkable,” Gibbs adds. That would probably involve scrapping America’s most famous passenger ship — an ironic situation in a country that has managed to preserve almost every major battleship it ever built.

READ MORE

Supporters rush to save Newport News-built liner, SS United States by Hugh Lessig, September 29, 2014 – www.dailypress.com

The SS United States Conservancy, the nonprofit group that owns the ship, recently announced an 11th-hour bid to raise money so the ship can become a pier-side retail and educational complex in New York, where there are potential sites, according to news reports. Its fate could be decided in a matter of hours. The conservancy said last week in a news release that it would decide the ship’s future by the end of the month, which is Tuesday.

READ MORE

  • Without Additional Charitable Support or Development Deal, A Decision To Scrap or Sell the Historic Vessel Must be Made at End of Month
  • As Discussions with Developers andCity and State Officials Continue Conservancy Urgently Needs Additional Support
  • 650,000 sq ft Mixed-Use Development and Museum Complex Would Create 2000 Jobs, Revitalize Manhattan or Brooklyn Waterfront

NEW YORK, NY — Time is nearly up to save America’s Flagship. With 2,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity hanging in the balance, America’s Flagship, the SS United States, is making her final push to return home to New York in time to avoid being sold for scrap. The SS United States Conservancy, the non-profit organization that owns the legendary 990-foot-long liner, has announced it will need to make a determination about the ship’s future by the end of this month unless resources are found in short order to help cover the vessel’s ongoing maintenance costs.

The Conservancy is urgently discussing with developers and city and state officials plans for transforming the world’s fastest ocean liner into an exciting hospitality, retail, event, restaurant, entertainment and museum complex. As was reported by the New York Times in July, potential sites for the ship are under consideration in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

READ MORE

Dock Star by Phoebe Magee – Columbia Magazine

Illustration by Amber Magee

Illustration by Amber Magee

You could call it patriotism, or respect for design, but people talk about the SS United States with something that sounds like love.

Read the full article here.

READ MORE

America’s flagship: Admirers of SS United States send an S.O.S. by Aaron Ernst and Joie Chen, August 12, 2013 – Al Jazeera America

As the clock ticks down, one potential investor recently submitted a formal proposal to New York’s Economic Development Corporation to bring her back home.

READ MORE

Propelled by a dream, by Michael E. Ruane, July 31, 2014 – Washington Post

The SS United States Conservancy's mission makes the front page of today's Washington Post.

The SS United States Conservancy’s mission makes the front page of today’s Washington Post.

“This ship has to be saved,” she says. “It’s beyond me and my family. There’s a potency and a power that lives on. We can’t let it go.” – Susan Gibbs, Executive Director

Read the full article here.

READ MORE

SS United States Could Move to Brooklyn in Months, by Dan McQuade, July 16, 2014 – philadephiamag.com

A report in the New York Times on the ship notes the Conservancy, which owns the ship, is in deep discussions about the future of the 990-foot-long ocean liner. The ship has 500,000 square feet of service…the Conservancy believes it would take $170 million to $300 million to convert it into spaces for businesses and retail uses. And, well, it’s not going to stay in Philadelphia. The Conservancy looked at many sites, but New York seems to be the most sensible one. A person “optimistic” about the chances of a deal say the move to Brooklyn could be OKed “within four to six months.”

READ MORE

Keeping a Historic Ship Afloat, by Jon Hurdle, July 15, 2014 – nytimes.com

Saying the ship could be only months away from being broken up, the conservancy is in talks with three developers about its potential to become a hotel, museum, shopping and restaurant mall, entertainment complex, conference center, educational facility, or some combination of all options for reuse.

READ MORE

Saving the SS United States, interview by Marty Moss-Coane (audio podcast), July 2, 2014 – WHYY Radio Times

We talk to Gibbs’ granddaughter, SUSAN GIBBS, Executive Director of the SS United States Conservancy and STEVEN UJIFUSA, historian and author of A Man and His Ship: America’s Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the SS United States.

READ MORE

Outside the Box: Beyond the Sea with the SS United States, July 1, 2014, by Tom Huntington – National Trust for Historic Preservation

“Look at her!” says Susan Caccavale as we approach the SS United States at Philadelphia’s Pier 82 on the Delaware River. “She’s so majestic!” Even in its current state — rusting, paint peeling, colors faded — the once elegant ocean liner still has that certain something.

READ MORE

Jim Pollin Throws A Lifeline to SS United States by Martin Cox, Maritime Matters, June 17, 2014

 With the SS United States‘ historic five-bladed propellers just days away from being scrapped, cruise industry executive Jim Pollin has donated$120,000 to the SS United States Conservancy to save the propeller and support a national campaign to re-purpose America’s Flagship. The donation, as well as a pledge to match an additional $100,000 in other contributions for the ship’s upkeep, was announced this morning in front of the once Top Secret 60,000-pound propeller on board the SS United States.

READ MORE

CBS Philly, June 17, 2014

Cruise industry executive Jim Pollin has donated $120,000 to preserve the last of the ship’s enormous, five-blade propellers, the design of which was top-secret during the Cold War.

READ MORE

Jim Pollin throws lifeline to the crumbling ‘50s ocean liner SS United States by Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, June 16, 2014

Tuesday morning, Pollin, son of the late Washington philanthropist and sports team owner Abe Pollin, announced a $120,000 gift to the District nonprofit group that owns the ship and boost to the campaign to save the liner from the scrap yard.

READ MORE

Cruise Industry Executive, Son of Late Capitals, Wizards Owner Saves Historic Propeller from Destruction, Makes Largest Contribution toward Saving the United States Since 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA – With the last of the SS United States’ historic five-bladed propellers just days away from being scrapped, cruise industry executive Jim Pollin, has donated $120,000 to the SS United States Conservancy to save the propeller and support a national campaign to repurpose America’s Flagship. The donation, as well as a pledge to match an additional $100,000 in other contributions for the ship’s upkeep, was announced this morning in front of the once Top Secret 60,000-pound propeller on board the SS United States.

READ MORE

Conservancy Urgently Searching for Buyer to Pay Maintenance Costs for Nation’s Flagship Will be Forced to Sell 60,000lb Propeller to Recycler If Not Sold by June 3rd,  2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Conservancy fighting to save America’s Flagship is in a race against time to save the historic vessel and has taken the unusual step of offering one of its propellers for sale.  The organization needs the financial resources to care for the nearly 1000-ft long vessel as they continue to negotiate with potential developers and investors to repurpose the ship as a museum and mixed-use destination.

READ MORE

The Legacy Project is an on-going initiative aimed at collecting, preserving, and archiving photographs, visual materials, and the stories related to passengers and crew who traveled in, helped build, and/or served aboard our nation’s flagship, the SS United States. For more information, visit our website. Want to share your story? Email us at info@ssusc.org.

 

READ MORE

Macaulay first introduced us to the peak tank here. In the previous post, he investigated the tank’s construction.

In the final installment of Macaulay’s peak tank series, we see the final stage of constructing the peak tank and how it is lowered onto the keel blocks. Click to enlarge the image and read Macaulay’s notes.

READ MORE