OUR HISTORY

7-1-2010

As owners of “America’s Flagship,” the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to ensure that this enduring expression of American pride and innovation educates and inspires for generations to come.

The Conservancy began as an initiative of the SS United States Preservation Society, a nonprofit organization founded in 1992.  The Society helped secure Congressional support for the SS United States through the SS United States Preservation Act of 1992, legislation designed to protect the ship from destruction.  The Society also helped secure the ship’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  The ship was added to the Register even though she was less than fifty years of age because of her “compelling national significance,” a status earned by less than one percent of the Register’s 78,000 historic sites.

Dan McSweeney and Susan Gibbs of the Conservancy upon taking to the SS United States in February, 2011

Dan McSweeney and Susan Gibbs of the Conservancy upon taking to the SS United States in February, 2011

Incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization in Washington, DC in 2009, the Conservancy formed a prominent board of directors and advisory council, recruited a talented team of staff and consultants, and opened offices in Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia.  This progress attracted transformative gifts totaling $5.8 million from prominent philanthropist and businessman H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest that enabled the Conservancy to purchase the SS United States outright in February, 2011.

The Conservancy’s work to save one of the nation’s great post-war treasures has included developing a unique technological platform – savetheunitedstates.org – that combines historic preservation, social networking, and an informative museum display, producing an award-winning documentary film for American Public Television, building a major collection of art, archives and artifacts from SS United States, installing a major exhibition at New York’s Forbes Galleries, developing plans for the future SS United States Center for Design and Discovery, earning extensive national and international press coverage, mounting educational and communications programs, creating the SS United States Redevelopment Project to support the vessel’s conversion into a mixed-used development in an urban waterfront setting, and organizing a grassroots All Hands on Deck Campaign that has enabled supporters from across the nation and around the world to help “Save Our Ship.”

With your help, the SS United States Conservancy will ensure that “America’s Flagship inspires and endures for generations to come.