Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Race to Save the United States


The clock is ticking to save a genuine American icon: The SS United States. This majestic ship still holds the record for the fastest transatlantic voyage from New York to England set back in 1952. Today she’s docked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a dilapidated state, in danger of becoming no more than a heap of scrap metal sold off bit by bit. But conservationists who treasure the ship are determined to not let that become her tragic fate. 

After her decommissioning as a working passenger ship in 1969 and ownership changing hands several times in the decades since, the SS United States Conservancy, the group determined to save the massive ship, received a generous donation of $5.8 million in the summer of 2010 from Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. That pledge of support included $3 million to purchase the ship and another $2.8 million to maintain her for approximately 20 months. With those funds running out and the 20 month time-frame expired, the Conservancy is seeking further donations to help meet its larger goals for the SS United States: To solidify a final home port for the ship and convert her into a museum, hotel and conference center. The estimated cost for such a renovation/restoration? A whopping $150 to $300 million. The Conservancy is eagerly seeking donations to help keep the ship’s future afloat.

For more information and to donate to the cause, visit; or, sponsor a small “piece” of the renovation project by donating online at

Photo courtesy of the SS United States Conservancy

South Shore JUN17