The campaign to save a beloved oceanliner, the SS United States, just took on a political overtone.
With little success, the SSUS Conservancy has been trying for years to revive “America’s Flagship” as a floating attraction or shoring her up to sail again.
Last year, Crystal Cruises came this close to saving the 1950’s era ship, that is rusting away, unceremoniously docked across from an IKEA in Philadelphia.
Crystal abandoned its plans to put her back into seagoing service after a feasibility study determined the effort would be too much of a stretch.
So, now, the Conservancy is asking divided Americans who can’t agree on politics, to rally around another symbol of the United States.
The goal is to raise $500,000 by July 4 through a crowdfunding campaign.
Calling this a make-or-break effort, the Conservancy concedes it will be forced to pursue unfortunate alternatives this summer, such as converting the ship into an artificial underwater reef or recycling the vessel, while securing a land-based venue for the display and stewardship of its curatorial collections.