INQUIRER: Drawn by repeated distress signals from the Foxwoods Casino project, the preservation group at the helm of a historic ghost ship, the SS United States, is offering to sail upriver with a novel alternative. The proposal: Move the derelict cruise liner about three-quarters of a mile north from its resting place at Pier 82 in South Philadelphia and place it next to a new 10-story garage with two floors of gaming. Cut a dock into the 16-acre site and slip the bow in, facing Columbus Avenue. Renovate and refit the 58-year-old vessel – an estimated $150 million to $200 million job – with gaming floors, restaurants, event space, a museum, and, possibly, a boutique hotel. “We can place the SS United States into the Foxwoods property in a way that showcases a national treasure and makes it a tourist draw,” said Ken Smukler, an adviser to the SS United States Conservancy. MORE

BRENDAN SKWIRE: I really enjoyed Jennifer Lin’s story on the S.S. United States. I was glad to see that, even though I wasn’t credited, the ship’s owners adopted my idea to save the ship. I came up with the idea in the Philadelphia Weekly this past January, and in fact pitched it to the conservancy, almost a year before anyone entertained the idea. Maybe someone ought to figure out a way to save the next heap of scrap, the Olympia. That’s an even more sad and ironic story: the ship that started the US Empire is, like the empire itself, rotting from neglect. Anyway, here’s my original article from earlier this year. MORE

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