For more than 20 years the former luxury cruise liner SS United States has been moored forlornly on the Delaware River in Philadelphia next to an out of town IKEA store.
Now, though, a bright new future may finally be in sight for the venerable 1950s passenger ship – thanks to a partnership between its conservation society and major New York real estate developer, RXR Realty.
In the new year, teams from RXR will visit the vessel to determine “the viability of redeveloping the SS United States and exploring potential new locations”.
It is anticipated that the 992ft long vessel will be converted into a mixed-use hotel and commercial development, which would include an on-board museum.
The SS United States is still the fastest ocean liner to have crossed the Atlantic in either direction – retaining the Blue Riband for the highest average speed since her maiden voyage in 1952.
SS United States was designed by naval architect William Francis Gibbs so that it could be readily converted into a troopship if required in a time of war.
The liner kept up an uninterrupted schedule of transatlantic passenger service until 1969, carrying an impressive list of celebrities including Marlon Brando, John Wayne, Salvador Dali, and Marilyn Monroe – and even the Mona Lisa when the painting was taken over and back to New York in 1963.