Written by Thom Nickels, contributing writer:
Nobody wants the S.S. United States turned into a heap of scrap metal on a beach in India, but that’s what could happen if people don’t rally to save this masterful ship. Ships like this do not come and go like people talking of Michelangelo. For years now, this industrial work of art has been wasting away at a pier in South Philadelphia. Judging from her frozen status at the pier, year after year, it would appear that there’s no movement or momentum to refurbish the United States and put her out on the ocean again.
This is hardly the case. Behind the ‘mothball’ freeze there’s been a great deal of activity to save this vessel.
First, the facts: In 2003, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) purchased the United States with the intention of refurbishing it. The refurbishing did not happen. Instead, Star Cruises, NCL’s parent company, put the ship up for sale. In a world economy as bleak as a Saudi sandstorm, the prospect of the "wrong" kind of buyer entering the scene and buying the ship for scrap metal is a viable threat. Lovers of this great ship are nervous, and they have a right to be.
The most recent event to rally for the ship was the SS United States Conservancy Fundraiser event at IKEA in South Philadelphia....