1/18/2011

SS United States Faces Deadlines While City May Gain Another Casino Opp.

The SS United States Conservancy is in the home stretch of securing title to the 990-foot-long ocean liner.  Six months ago the Conservancy signed a six-month exclusive purchase option with the ships current owners, Genting Hong King, a move which saved the ship from certain scrapping.  Thanks to H.F. 'Gerry" Lenfest, the Conservancy are beneficiaries of a $5.8 million pledge that will cover purchase costs for the ship.  The Conservancy is now raising funds to pay for upcoming title transfer costs, as well as seed money for the non-profit component portion of the ship, namely the museum, educational programs, and historic restoration of portions of the interiors to their original grandeur.



On November 21 the Conservancy and Stephen Varenhorst Architects unveiled a redevelopment study with the ships as the centerpiece of a mixed-used development at Reed and Tasker Streets, otherwise known as the "Foxwoods site" then under the control of Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners L.P.  The ship would be docked in a slip perpendicular to the river bank, with a large public plaza in front.  Surrounding the ship would be new buildings residential housing, retail, and casino.
In various scenarios, part of the gaming operations would be located on the ship's lower decks.  The upper decks, including the ballroom and the navigation bridge, would be restored to their original 1950s appearance and ambiance, and would boast spaces for meetings, dining, a museum, and a boutique hotel.