The U.S. Navy mothballed her, sealed up the ship, did corrosion control, treated the ship like any warship being held in reserve. In 1978, the decision was made that that the ship was no longer a viable asset and it was sold. That begins a long story.
The first plans was to make her a floating casino. Sold and sold again, it was planned twice to make her a cruise ship. The Navy considered repurchasing her to make a hospital ship but decided on a different ship.
In 1984, the ship's furniture, equipment and fittings were sold to raise money. In 1993 she was towed to the Ukraine where she underwent asbestos abatement. That gutted the interior of the ship and left little hope of refitting. That's probably the point at which any future plans were futile.
Towed to Philadelphia in 1996 and docked, she was sold again in 1997. Once again, plans were made to make her a cruise ship, this time to Hawaii. She was legally elgible because she was U.S. built and could have be U.S. flagged and crewed. That got a full study, she still had a solid hull and it would have been possible. The company picked a different ship.
At this point there is talk of scrapping. There was one last effort to do a million dollar study to restore the ship to service. The conclusion, probably the final conclusion, was that it was not feasible. The dated technology, the ship design, any use that might make a profit, the cost to retrofit, and modern regulatory rules make the clear eyed decision pretty easy.
Here's a walk around of the ship as it looks today.
A group formed, they want to save the ship, make a museum, refit her, see her sail again, anything but scrap her. The SS United States Conservancy. They might need Bill Gates or maybe Elon Musk. It's costing $60,000 a month just to maintain the hulk of the ship at the dock.
In response to my last post, Paul Dammit!, who writes at Hawsepiper: The Longest Climb, about ships and shipping from an inside view, left me a comment. It's not sentimental, but I think it closes this post.
Every 5 years, some shill starts a Restoration and Rehab company, to either rebuild the ship or copy it. It's too damned small, too damn narrow and the hull design is 3/4 of a century old. It is a pretty piece of our past. So, do we want to spent millions on it to make a museum that nobody wants to visit? I mean, we can.
Or, we can scan, photograph, and scrap the damn thing, like bringing ol Yeller to stud before spattering his brains all over the barn walls.
It's still sitting there in Philly, shedding lead paint into the Delaware
River, looking like a dirty armpit, fitting right in, in fact.
A modern ship carries 3x the passengers, has 20% of the fuel cost and doesn't have more rust than Detroit. But some dingus will collect a couple million from fresh rubes every year and pretend like he's getting it back in service. This is... year 20 of that? Rehab number 6? 7? Whatever, you can build a new ship for the amount of donations that this sad tetanus farm has collected.