Ocean Liner S.S. United States may dock in Red Hook after ship-shape conversion

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Rendering of the proposed S.S. United States conversion (Courtesy GBX)

Rendering of the proposed S.S. United States conversion (Courtesy GBX)

New York City has 520 miles of coastline. The city’s coastline-to-swanky-offshore-vessel ratio, however, is seriously skewed. Although New Yorkers may enjoy drinks on the Frying Pan, at Chelsea Piers, or visit the oil tanker cultural center aboard the Mary A. Whalen, in Red Hook, there is certainly room for another moldering boat-turned-modern-recreation-and-entertainment-space.

The S.S. United States today (Courtesy Wired)

The S.S. United States today (Courtesy Wired)

The Brooklyn Paper reports that John Quadrozzi Jr., owner of the Gowanus Bay Terminal in Red Hook, beamed an SOS to investors willing to put up between $50 and $200 million to convert the 63-year-old, 990-foot-long S.S. United States into retail, offices, and cultural facilities.

Before air travel, the S.S. United States was a grande dame among ocean liners. The ship has half-a-million square feet of floor space and 13 decks. Quadrozzi would offer space to startups, a maritime school and museum, a swimming pool, gym, and restaurants. The vessel would be self-sustaining, retrofitted to produce and consume solar, waste, and wind energy.

For almost 20 years, the S.S. United States has sat in a Philadelphia ship yard. Currently, it costs its owners, the S.S. United States Conservancy, $60,000 each month to maintain. The Conservancy will decide by November whether it wants to partner with Quadrozzi, or another (unnamed) Manhattan partner. If the conversion plan is ultimately deemed nonviable, the conservancy will haul the historic ship to the scrapyard.

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