Coming to the Carrère Gallery in May 2012....
The steamship United States is one of America’s finest engineering achievements. Its design and construction between 1945 and 1952 harnessed the technological and industrial might of post–World War II America to create the world’s fastest and safest passenger ship. The United States was a colorful, comfortable luxury hotel able to speed 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew across the inhospitable Atlantic in any weather. Favored by the traveling public for its service, swiftness, and modern style, the “Big U” was celebrated in engineering circles for its performance, power, seaworthiness, innovative construction, and superlative fire safety.
This exhibition celebrates the 60th anniversary of the ship’s record-setting maiden voyage and highlights the current efforts of SS United States Conservancy to repurpose the vessel. Although still afloat, the United States has been idle since 1969, its days on the Atlantic cut short by the quickness of jet aircraft. This beautiful, one-of-a-kind triumph of naval architecture and marine engineering cries out for a new purpose worthy of the care and thought that created it.
The Conservancy owns this incredible ship and is acting right now to save it, working to establish a public-private partnership that will transform the United States into a self-sustaining, multipurpose waterfront attraction. By giving the ship new life, the Conservancy will give future generations a window into the era of seaborne passenger travel and a testament to the spirit of American optimism and inventiveness the SS United States so powerfully symbolizes.