Anyone Know Where to Park a 1,000-Foot-Long Ocean Liner?

Moored in Philadelphia, a landmark waiting to return to its home port. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images It is said that ships are the largest things that move, and ocean liners are among the hugest of the huge. Even among them, though, the S.S. United States stands out. It’s the biggest passenger ship ever built in America, just shy of 1,000 feet long. Commissioned in 1952 and retired in 1969, it has spent several decades shuttling from owner to owner, each successive one having grabbed onto the dream of bringing it back to life. Most recently, it’s spent two and a half decades moored in Philadelphia, lately in the care of a foundation that’s been trying hard to find someone to restore and find a use for it. Every few years, a new plan is (literally) floated, then falls through. The most promising was an almost-consummated deal with Crystal Cruises to turn it back into a working liner, announced in 2016 and then abandoned owing to its technical infeasibility. Two months ago, RXR Realty became the latest to lay out a promising scheme, intending to moor it in New York and turn it into a very cool hotel, docked at Pier 76 by the Javits Center. This week, The Real Deal reported that this plan, too, was on the rocks, mostly because the Hochul administration says the pier there is too small. Meanwhile, the ship faces eviction from the pier in Philly amid a rent dispute. Restoring the S.S. United States would be a fabulous thing. It was, in its day, a gorgeous piece of engineering, and if you walk up to it in Philadelphia these days, even the rust streaks and peeling paint and general sense of desolation around it do not quite obscure what a majestic […]

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By Donato