Saving the SS Columbia

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SS Columbia – as usual, click on the thumbnail for a
larger photo of this amazine craft

The project to restore the SS Columbia, the USA’s oldest surviving passenger steamer, is a seriously big one – but she’s an astonishing vessel. She was designed in 1902 by the naval architect Frank Kirby and artist Louis O Keil to transport people from the city into the countryside, and was adorned with mahogany panelling, murals, glass artworks, gilded mouldings, a grand staircase and an innovative open-air ballroom.

She was powered by a massive 1200 horsepower steam engine that could be viewed by the public.

Once restored, the restorers plan to put her to work as an education resource, as a cultural venue and museum, and to provide regular excursions visiting the Hudson River and New York’s harbour.

It’s an awesome project, and I’m sure we all hope they’re successful. The photo below of the Columbia’s bridge and project president Richard Anderson gives some idea of the work that needs to be done.

Read more at the project weblog: http://www.sscolumbia.org

Project president Richard Anderson standing by Columbia’s
bridge. There’s a lot of work to do!