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New developments might propel the historic SS United States back to its homeport of New York City, the latest in the case to save the historic ship from going under. Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
A five-blade propeller on board the SS United States helped to thrust America's flagship into the maritime history books, shattering transatlantic speed records.
Sadly, the fast ship has been dying a slow death, despite an ongoing multi-million-dollar fundraising effort to turn the iconic ocean liner into a New York-based tourist attraction.
"It's a national monument, just like the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building," said Jim Pollin, a cruise industry executive. "We need to SOS. Save our Ship."
Pollin recently saved the propeller by donating $120,000 and pledging another $100,000.
"Without additional support from public officials, private donors, we really are only months away from the unthinkable," said Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States Conservancy. "Nothing this big and this important that bears the name of our great nation should be left to rust, or worse, scrapped."
In her heyday, the SS U.S. was a fixture in New York City, and now, the hope is that she will relocate from Philly, possibly to Brooklyn.
"Though we're not able to announce the details or the existence of a signed contract, we are confidently advancing," said Dan McSweeney, director of the SS United States Redevelopment Project.
A book about the SS U.S. by maritime historian John Maxtone-Graham is due in the fall, with the final chapter yet to be written.
"The fastest ocean liner ever built and ever will be built is that ship, and it's worth preserving, but the price of preservation may be too much," Maxtone-Graham said.