In a long-anticipated milestone in the effort to save and redevelop the legendary ocean liner SS United States, the SS United States Conservancy has announced that it will purchase the nation’s historic “ship of state.” Full details on this major development will be disclosed at a press briefing scheduled for Tuesday, February 1, at 3 pm, EST at IKEA South Philadelphia, across Columbus Boulevard from the liner. “We are one big step closer to ensuring that this great symbol of American innovation is permanently preserved,” said Susan Gibbs, the Conservancy’s board president, whose grandfather, William Francis Gibbs, designed the legendary liner. “Now that we have secured title, we will accelerate our efforts to redevelop the nation’s flagship as a multi-purpose waterfront destination with dynamic hotel, retail, educational and museum offerings. To succeed, we will tap into the same “can-do” spirit and ingenuity that the ship has embodied since her first splash in 1952.” In July 2010, the Conservancy announced a pledge of .8 million by Philadelphia philanthropist HF “Gerry” Lenfest to purchase and maintain the vessel for 20 months. Owners Norwegian Cruise Line/Genting Hong Kong entered an exclusive purchase option with the Conservancy last year, graciously declining a bid twice as high from a vessel scrapper, in order to support the Conservancy’s efforts. The Conservancy is deeply grateful to both Gerry Lenfest and NCL/Genting for their support. Lenfest underscored the
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