SS United States Conservancy
December 12, 2010
The SS United States circa 1955 by George Gaadt
Stunning holiday image of the SS United States by artist George Gaadt. Used by permission. This image is available on a new line of holiday greeting cards in the Conservancy's Cafepress store.

  • Urgent Year-end Fundraising Appeal
  • Fabulous new SS United States merchandise - Perfect for Holiday Gift Giving!
  • Conservancy Philadelphia Holiday Gathering on Tuesday, December 14th
  • Design Advocacy Group endorses Conservancy's Redevelopment plans

Dear SS United States Conservancy Members and Supporters:

Having learned that the SS United States' owner was accepting bids from scrappers early this year, the SS United States Conservancy responded with alarm and action. This ominous development galvanized our board of directors, volunteers, and members from all over the country - and indeed the world - into action. We confidently charted a way forward, never accepting the possibility that we could lose our great ship of state.

In March we launched the "Save Our Ship" Campaign to build public awareness of the vessel's plight and raise funds to save the vessel. On July 1st we announced that we had received a$5.8 million pledge from philanthropist Gerry Lenfest - enough money to purchase the Big U and maintain her for 20 months.

Although we are profoundly relieved that our national flagship has achieved a stay of execution, she remains in grave danger. The Lenfest gift is only the start of a long journey toward redeveloping the vessel as a stationary attraction. Much work at significant cost will follow.

The Conservancy has embarked on a major fundraising campaign aimed at preparing the SS United States for redevelopment. We urgently need support to conduct structural and remediation work on the vessel (necessary for title transfer to occur), launch plans for the development of a world-class museum, and expand our outreach to a variety of important audiences.

At this crucial juncture, we need your help. Please read the letter from Gerry Lenfest explaining why this cause is so important and why we must seize upon the opportunity his gift has provided. The letter is available as a pdf here.

We hope you will consider becoming a Conservancy member at the highest level you can afford. Please note that the Conservancy is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) and all
contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Our donor pledge form is available here.

We remain deeply grateful for your continued support of our efforts. We hope you share our vision of a successfully repurposed SS United States, one that provides jobs and important public amenities, while educating and inspiring future generations.

In gratitude,

SS United States Conservancy Board of Directors
Amazing New Merchandise: Holiday Gift Ideas

The Conservancy offers a wide variety of SS United States-themed merchandise, perfect for your holiday gift-giving needs. Please consider taking a moment to browse our store and those of our supporters. Click on the images below.

Gregory Shutters' fantastic 2011 Wall Calendar.

The SS United States circa 1955 by George Gaadt
George Gaadt's festive holiday painting.

Wayne Forth's excellent walk-through videos of the SS United States and the Windmill Point Restaurant and SS United States Lounge.

SSUS James Flood Tee Shirt
Visit our Shop Page for more SS United States gift ideas and vendors.

Conservancy Holiday Gathering in Philadelphia on December 14th

Philly Event Invite

The Philadelphia Chapter of the SS United States Conservancy invites you to join us on Tuesday December 14 to ring in the holidays and support the efforts of the
SS United States Conservancy!

Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go directly to support
the Conservancy's "Save Our Ship" campaign!

The Prime Rib
1701 Locust Street
Philadelphia PA
5:00 to 7:30 pm

Please email Arlene Ingram to be added to the Evite list and RSVP.
If you have any questions, please email Philadelphia Chapter Chair Jeff Henry.
To pay in advance via Paypal, please CLICK HERE.

Your donations may be tax deductible as we are a 501(c)(3) organization.

We hope to see you there!
Design Advocacy Group Endorses SS United States Conservancy's Philadelphia Waterfront Design Concept

The Philadelphia mixed-use casino waterfront plan, designed by Varenhorst Architects and supported with a grant from Gerry Lenfest, received a strong endorsement yesterday from Joanne Aitken, chair of the Design Advocacy Group (DAG) of Philadelphia. The organization boasts 1,200 members in the Philadelphia architecture, city planning, and real estate community.

According to the organization's website:

"The mission of the Design Advocacy Group is to provide an independent and informed public voice for design quality in the architecture and physical planning of the Philadelphia region. Our goal is be proactive as well as reactive; effective as well as thoughtful; critical as well as constructive. We want to create an unparalleled voice for design, a group whose opinion on the quality of our environment is sought after and whose contribution makes a difference. We are a group drawn from a broad spectrum of disciplines, comprised of motivated individuals who are routinely engaged in matters of design, development and planning and who are not afraid to speak out."

The Conservancy's efforts have received considerable support from DAG members Joanne Aitken, George Claflen Jr., and David Brownlee, most notably in the July 8 editorial "No Need to Cross an Ocean."

In her December 6 letter to the Conservancy's executive director Daniel J. McSweeney, Aitken states that "the genius of the plan is that it is organized around an open public space and the beautiful sculptural object of the S.S. United States. Embodying the principles outlined in the Vision Plan for the Central Delaware, the development proposal extends Philadelphia's street grid, permitting pedestrians to look and walk straight through the site to the water without impediment." She concludes that his grand-scale project is "not simply a pipe dream...if there is to be another casino on the waterfront, this is the proverbial win-win - what's stopping us?"

SSUS Plank Owner Logo

Now more than ever, we need your financial support to facilitate the long term future of the SS United States. The Conservancy's national campaign titled "Save Our Ship" (SOS) offers a customized e-mailed "Plank Owner" certificate for tax-deductible donations of at least $25 via its PLANK OWNER WEBSITE. (Your patience is also deeply appreciate as each certificate is created and e-mailed manually.)

If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable and send to:

Plank Owner Program
SS United States Conservancy

P.O. Box 32115
Washington, DC 20007

Please give as generously as you can. If every American contributes even a modest amount, the SS United States can be saved for future generations.

If you have already become an SS United States Conservancy member and Plank Owner, please help us spread the word among your friends, colleagues and family members. If you have a Facebook account, please "like" the SS United States Conservancy's Facebook page so that we can keep growing our ranks and building more momentum!

For the latest news about the SS United States,
visit our Save Our Ship blog

SSUS Plank Owner Logo

Please visit our bookstore on

Please support our efforts to save
the SS
United States by
visiting our store

Greg Shutters Design
GrGreg Shutters' "Don't Give Up the Shirt" Site
SS United States Conservancy
P.O. Box 32115
Washington, DC 20007
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