SS United States Could Find Home in NYC After Failed Restoration Deal
The reality that Crystal Cruises won't be putting the beloved SS United States back into passenger service, after 20 years tied up at a pier in Philadelphia, doesn't mean the 1950s-era ocean liner is destined for the scrapyard.
"The fact that Crystal showed interest at all will hopefully make people turn and look at the ship in a new light, and the fact that New York has another chance of making her a permanent New Yorker," says Paul Stipkovich of the SSUS Conservancy NY Chapter.
Before Crystal Cruises came courting six months ago, with the bold yet impractical idea to re-brand the obsolete ship as part of its luxury fleet, New York City was being eyed as the logical place for the vessel to find new life as a stationary fixture on the waterfront.
"We now have an opportunity again here in Brooklyn, where I thought ship would be a perfect fit," says John Quadrozzi Jr., owner of the Gowanus Bay Terminal, "It's just a matter of getting it in the right hands in the right place with the right development behind her to make it happen."
Manhattan, her original homeport, is also a favorite.
"Pier 76, North River New York, just opposite the Jacob Javits center, that was the United States Lines Cargo Pier, not part of Hudson River Park," says Ted Scull, a maritime historian.
Crystal's feasibility study deemed the "Big-U" to be structurally sound as is, making the prospect of moving her to New York intact, a more enticing one.