SS United States Conservancy
November 21, 2010

SS United States Conservancy: Breaking News

Rendering of the SS United States in Philadelphia

Dear SS United States Conservancy Members and Supporters:

Greetings! We are writing to update you on the latest developments in our efforts to secure the future of our national flagship. As you know, a generous pledge from Philadelphia philanthropist H. F. "Gerry" Lenfest enabled us to sign an exclusive option agreement to purchase the ship from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)/Genting Hong Kong, the vessel's current owners. The Conservancy is now working hard to fulfill all of the regulatory requirements needed to claim title to the vessel before our option agreement expires on January 31, 2011.

While the Conservancy does not yet hold title to the SS United States, we have been progressing on various fronts. On Monday, November 22, we will be holding a press conference in Philadelphia at 1:00 pm to unveil the results of a detailed feasibility study, as well as scale renderings and a model, that show how the ship could be the catalyst for an innovative urban redevelopment initiative along Philadelphia's Delaware River. To read the Conservancy's full media advisory, please click here.

Another rending of the SS United States in Philly

As detailed in an article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, the Conservancy commissioned Stephen Varenhorst Architects (SVA) and consultant Ken Smukler to conduct the study with support from a generous grant from Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest. The team examined a number of potential locations along Philadelphia's Delaware River and honed in on the "Foxwoods site" between Philadelphia's Reed and Tasker Streets. The dynamic urban redevelopment initiative envisaged features the SS United States as part of a complex that incorporates hotel space, restaurant offerings, retail and office space, residential development, parkland and a marina, nature reserves, and a casino. We will seek further feedback on the proposed design from city officials, local community advocates, and design experts. We will also continue to explore other possible development plans for the vessel, including several in cities other than Philadelphia.

To support this work and our other outreach and preservation efforts, we are launching a year-end fundraising campaign and membership renewal push. As you know, our "Save Our Ship" Campaign launched in March was a great success. It culminated in our July 1 National Flagship Celebration at which 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. However, our national flagship still remains in grave danger. The Lenfest gift is the first step of a long journey toward redeveloping the vessel as a stationary attraction. Much work at significant cost lies ahead of us. You will soon receive a formal appeal in the mail, and we hope that you will consider supporting us at the highest level you can. In the interim, please consider making a year-end tax deductible contribution to our ongoing efforts on behalf of the SS United States by becoming a Plank Owner today, or by visiting our online donation page.

We remain deeply grateful for your continued support, and thank you for helping us secure the future of our great national flagship.

In gratitude,

SS United States Conservancy Board of Directors

The Conservancy's 2011 SS United States wall calendar is now available for pre-order, and will ship on November 22. Designed by the talented Gregory Shutters, whose ongoing "Don't Give Up the Shirt" website sells gorgeous tee shirts, posters, stickers and more, the new calendar's theme is "Ship of the Stars" and features gorgeous color images of the Big U then and now while celebrating the many celebrities, politicians, and other notables who sailed aboard her. Important dates throughout her career are also highlighted. Consider giving these as gifts to your ship and history buff friends! To pre-order yours, please CLICK HERE.

"SS United States" by James A. Flood
Just in time for the holidays! Recently, noted maritime James A. Flood contacted the SS United States Conservancy Legacy Project with the extraordinary offer to allow the use of his magnificent painting entitled "SS United States" for our fundraising initiatives. We have launched a gorgeous new line of merchandise featuring his painting in our Cafepress store. To browse the selections, CLICK HERE.

The SS United States circa 1955 by George Gaadt

Artist George Gaadt was commissioned by Newport News Shipbuilding (builders of the SS United States) in the 1980's to paint this fanciful image of the ship festooned with holiday lights and a wreath hanging from her bow for their annual holiday greeting card. Mr. Gaadt and Newport News Shipbuilding (now Northrup Grumman) have graciously given the Conservancy permission to reproduce the image in a new line of holiday cards, exclusively available through out Cafepress store. To order yours today, CLICK HERE!

The Conservancy is deeply grateful to these talented artists who put their artwork into action toward the cause of saving the SS United States!
SSUS Plank Owner Logo

The Conservancy's national campaign titled "Save Our Ship" (SOS) offers a customized "Plank Owner" certificate for tax-deductible donations of at least $25 via its DONOR WEBSITE.

Please click on the link above and give as generously as you can. If every American contributes even a modest amount, the SS United States could be saved, but we are in urgent need of your help! Your continued support is what fuels our determination to save the SS United States!

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

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SS United States Conservancy
P.O. Box 32115
Washington, DC 20007
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