There’ll Never Be Another U

 

First class dining hall | Photo: Chandra Lampreich

First class dining hall | Photo: Chandra Lampreich

I remember the first time I saw the SS United States: on a trip to Ocean City, Maryland. My parents took a slight detour from our usual route and drove me past the ship because, as a kid, I was obsessed with the Bismarck and the Titanic. Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to board The Big U, and one Saturday morning years later my wish finally came true. These are the photos from that visit.

As of 2011, the SS United States Conservancy owns the ship and is working fiercely to protect it from being scrapped, including at a rally this morning in New York’s Herald Square. But funds are running out for the ship, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and which requires $80,000/month just to dock and secure it on the South Philadelphia waterfront, where it’s been since 1996. The Conservancy continues to accept donations HERE.

Click any of the photos below to launch the gallery.

About the author

Chandra Lampreich became interested in photography in high school, and then continued her training at Antonelli Institute where she received an associates degree in photography. She specializes in architecture photography, and has a passion for shooting old, dilapidated buildings. Her photographs can be seen on Flickr here.



6 Comments


  1. Great photo shoot! Especially from the mast! Brava!!

  2. My Mom came to this country on The Big U, so it stays forever in our hearts.

  3. Martin Pillsbury

    When I was a kid my father took me to see “The Big U” when she was in port in NY City (must have been mid 1960’s). Still remember the “All ashore who’s going ashore” announcement as we left. These are great photos, but it’s so sad to see her in this condition. Are there archival photos from her glory days? It would be fascinating to see them lined up against your photos of each area of the ship. Thanks for the memories!

    Martin Pillsbury
    Boston, MA

  4. Thanks for the article..the more press the better the chances that the U will be saved…

  5. That view from the crow’s nest is one of a kind. Glad you had the nerve to climb up there.

  6. Richard Lawrence

    My Dad, Newbold Lawrence was the VP of Operations for the U S Lines, and this afforded me the opportunity to take weekend trips from Baltimore on the Night Boat to NewportNews VA to crawl all over the Big U while building. It further gave me the opportunity to visit the ship often when in New York. I remember the special diners on the ship when Chef Bismark would make me a special plate of petifours to take home with me. I spent hours in the engine room with the Chief and his Lts.

    I nade all the trips with my Dad when the ship returned to NewportNews for her annual dry docking. My two prize gifts were Commodore Anderson’s sextant as a graduation gift when I graduated from NYSMC, and our honymoon round trip on the Big U to Liverpool and return.

    I hope and pray that you-all will be successful in saving her.

    Dick Lawrence

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
New Book On W.E.B. Du Bois Colors In

New Book On W.E.B. Du Bois Colors In “White Space”

December 18, 2018  |  Walk the Walk

The pioneering research of W.E.B. Du Bois on race, class, and data collection are on display in a strikingly visual new volume, "W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America." Joe Brin has this book review > more

Nomination Withdrawal Signals The End For Stone Cottage In Overbrook Farms

Nomination Withdrawal Signals The End For Stone Cottage In Overbrook Farms

December 14, 2018  |  News

Historical Commission withdraws nomination for 127-year-old cottage in Overbrook Farms after owner St. Joseph's University neglects the home for over a decade. Starr Herr-Cardillo has the news > more

“Star Doors” Take Center Stage In A City Of Rows

December 13, 2018  |  Vantage

Like the human eye, exterior doors can be a portal into the soul of a row house. Ashley Hahn drops in with the backstory on “star doors,” a singular piece of Philadelphia charm > more

Sixty Years Of Holiday Cheer At Wanamaker's

Sixty Years Of Holiday Cheer At Wanamaker’s

December 12, 2018  |  Last Light

Patrick Glennon gives us a look at the origins of a holiday tradition at the Wanamaker Building > more

City Archives Opens New HQ In Northern Liberties

City Archives Opens New HQ In Northern Liberties

December 6, 2018  |  Buzz

New digs in NoLibs for the Philadelphia City Archives. Michael Bixler has the details > more

Give a Gift, Get a Gift: 2018 Fund Drive Perks Are Here

Give a Gift, Get a Gift: 2018 Fund Drive Perks Are Here

December 6, 2018  |  Uncategorized, Vantage

Our annual fund drive is in full swing and this year's perks are better than ever, so have a look. Not to mention: all donations will be matched dollar for dollar by NewsMatch! > more