Saving the SS United States

Once the world’s fastest ocean liner, she is now in danger of being sold for scrap.

USS United States
The USS United States needs a cash influx to be preserved.Courtesy USS United States Conservancy

The nonprofit group SS United States Conservancy is trying to raise some serious cash to save what was once the world's fastest ocean liner.

The SS United States, which is massive at 990 feet LOA, was built in 1952 as the largest ocean liner ever constructed in America. To this day, she holds the transatlantic speed record. Originally, the plan was to transfer her to military use for carrying U.S. Navy troops, but she never got called to action and instead ferried lots of famous people, like Elizabeth Taylor and Prince Rainier of Monaco.

Since 1996, she has sat on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, and she has been owned by the Conservancy since 2010 thanks to a $5.8 million grant from a philanthropist. The Conservancy wants to turn the SS United States into an attraction that includes a maritime history museum, restaurants, a hotel and more — but it can't afford the refit work.

That’s why, in October, workers began removing tanks and more from the vessel as a way to prep her for a refit, and as a way to raise money by everything that gets taken out. If nobody steps up to buy this unique fixer-upper soon, she will likely be sold entirely as scrap.

More details are at www.savetheunitedstates.org.