Letter from Executive Director Susan Gibbs

Dear SS United States Conservancy supporter,

This week we are launching an urgent “Save Our Ship” campaign to raise funds to extend support for the 1,000-foot-long vessel’s carrying costs while we continue to advance our museum and redevelopment plans.  Click here to view our press release and click here to read today’s Associated Press story.  While we have made great strides over the course of the year, our efforts have now reached a critical threshold.

We are so proud of what we’ve accomplished to date.  We purchased the SS United States in 2011 and saved the historic vessel from certain scrapping.  We have built a national organization now numbering thousands of members hailing from all 50 states and 22 countries.  We have developed exciting plans for the SS United States Center for Design and Discovery, expanded our collections of archives and artifacts, produced compelling educational and communications materials, and created the SS United States Redevelopment Project to harness the ship’s considerable economic potential.  We also created an innovative crowdfunding preservation campaign at SavetheUnitedStates.org, and more than 50,000 virtual pieces of the ship have been purchased and personalized to date.  Our innovative strategies to raise funds and awareness have garnered international media attention from among others, the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer, CBS and NBC News, National Public Radio, and a wide range of other print and broadcast outlets.

Over the course of the year, the SS United States Redevelopment Project has advanced plans to repurpose the ship as a stationary mixed-used development.  As Dan McSweeney, the Project’s Managing Director details below, we have reached out to hundreds of potential partners and entered into detailed redevelopment discussions for possible permanent placement of the ship in New York and Pennsylvania. However, the slow economy, capital constraints, competing interests, regulatory hurdles, and the project’s scale and complexity have thus far hindered a final deal.  While some intriguing new scenarios and potential partnerships have recently emerged, this exciting window of opportunity will close without additional time and funding.

We are launching an urgent appeal with the goal of raising $500,000 from new donors, corporate sponsors, and other supporters to insure that the SS United States‘ legacy is honored and celebrated – and not destroyed.  We have reached an all-hands-on-deck moment. We hope you will join us in urging your friends, family and colleagues to become Conservancy members and “shipowners” at SavetheUnitedStates.org.  We seek your help in reaching out to political leaders, the press, and potential corporate sponsors and investors.  We welcome your suggestions on how we can insure that our campaign succeeds.

With all the attention being given to plans for the Titanic II – a replica of an ocean liner that met a tragic end – we still have the chance to  save the most famous ship that didn’t sink.  If this singular American achievement is destroyed, we will lose an unparalleled opportunity to create jobs, honor our history, and celebrate the nation’s enduring capacity for innovation.  The SS United States conveys a simple and timeless message: Anything is possible.

Thank you so much for your continued support.

Susan Gibbs
Executive Director
SS United States Conservancy