The SS United States Conservancy revealed that it is in litigation over a rent dispute with SS United States’ landlord, Penn Warehousing, according to a press release.
A bench trial is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 17, in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
The Conservancy released the following statement: “The Conservancy regrets that its rent dispute with Penn Warehousing is going to trial. Our first priority is the safety and security of this irreplaceable symbol of America.”
The Conservancy said that the ship’s rent in Philadelphia, where it sits docked, was doubled without notice during the coronavirus pandemic and it was subsequently demanded that the vessel be removed from the pier.
“The SS United States was designed by Philadelphia native William Francis Gibbs to be the fastest and safest ocean liner ever to sail. On her maiden voyage, she reached record-breaking speeds that have never been surpassed in scheduled passenger travel. She served as an American ambassador to the world, and we will continue to defend the ship and the public interest in protecting a key part of our nation’s history from destruction.”
“As an organization, we will continue to work tirelessly to advance the preservation and redevelopment of the SS United States as a world-class destination and museum. At a time when Philadelphia plans to celebrate our country’s 250th birthday and draw people from around the world for the FIFA World Cup in 2026, the loss of the SS United States should be unimaginable.
“The Conservancy recently released a transformational redevelopment plan for America’s Flagship that would create thousands of new jobs, attract visitors from across the country and around the globe, and potentially generate millions in annual tax revenue. It is a visionary project, commercially viable and capable of substantially benefiting Philadelphia, New York, or other port cities.”
“The Penn Warehousing trial places the ship in grave danger. We hope that Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro, Philadelphia Mayor Parker, PhilaPort officials, and other leaders throughout this country will recognize the economic potential and national historic significance of the SS United States. Joined by our thousands of proud supporters across the nation and around the globe, we look to government leaders to assist with our ongoing efforts to relocate the ship to a different temporary or permanent location.”