Is S.S. United States Coming to Brooklyn?

According to a New York Times article, S.S. United States, once the pride of our nation’s merchant marine and last holder of the Blue Riband, may be moved from a pier in Philadelphia where she has been docked for some years (and where I photographed her in 2006) to “a location in Brooklyn within four to six months” provided negotiations between the S.S. United States Conservancy, which owns and seeks to preserve the ship, and a potential developer succeed. The intent, according to the Times, is for the ship to “be reborn as a commercial and cultural center.”

There’s no word yet on where in Brooklyn the “Big U” might be docked; indeed, there are few wharves long enough to accommodate such a large vessel. We’ll keep an eye on developments.

Photo postcard via Cafe Parisian and via Working Harbor Committee.

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  • elemengee

    I remember the USS United States very well. My two girlfriends and I sailed on her to Europe. We had a fabulous bon voyage party on board–you could do that in those days–with family and friends. It really saddens me to see the condition it is in. I hope it does come to NYC and is reconditioned and restored as a museum so that everyone can see what an elegant ship it was.

  • robertnill

    Sadly, all of the interior was sold off in 1984. It’s pretty much an empty shell, unlike RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach.

  • DIBS

    Exterior is in pretty sad shape as well. I saw it from the water down here in Philly quite a few years ago.

  • SABW

    I have the wonderful memories of sailing in First Class on this gorgeous ship in 1965 and 1966 when I was 17 and 18 years old from Southampton to NYC. I had my 18th birthday on board, and my parents had a party and invited all 60 teens in 1st class. Before dinner that night, my father took me to the lounge and treated me to my first-ever glass of champagne. The chef made me a beautiful “Baked Alaska” for my birthday cake that night. I remember being in college but hearing three years later that they had to stop running the ship, because it was too expensive to operate. Uncle Sam was subsidizing it, and jet travel was taking over. Too bad it only ran for 17 years, and we have lost 45 years without. It is still the fastest passenger liner ever built. Those were truly the “good ole days”! I cannot wait to see it restored, not scrapped. Thanks to all who have helped save it. I want to be there for the opening!

  • Hector McPeek

    Lots of opportunity for an empty ship. Think of it as an empty canvas.

  • Hector McPeek

    Don’t let that rust and peeling paint fool you. Her structure is 93% sound. She was overbuilt due to her troop ship conversion, if needed at the time.

  • Hector McPeek

    Her relocation to Brooklyn will be a temporary one. Her real port will be in Manhattan on the Hudson River.

  • Lou Concepcion

    The USS United States can be refurbished and turned into a successful museum and activity center, just as the SS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier was refurbished and turned into The Intrepid Air and Space Museum. The Intrepid has been in port on New York City’s west side piers, and the same can be done with the USS United States. New York has the population and tourism to make this a profitable and everlasting venture.