As part of its behind the news event series, PlanPhilly hosted a two-hour Delaware River cruise that celebrated a historic treasure currently docked on our Central Delaware riverfront and the former PlanPhilly reporter who wrote a book detailing its creation and its legacy. And more.
The Wednesday night event gave 147 attendees the closest possible look of the SS United States (aside from actually boarding the structure itself), one-on-one conversation with Ujifusa, a guided tour of Philadelphia’s original riverfront led by Harris Steinberg, the leader of the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware, and a rich update of the work of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation on the master plan by DRWC president Tom Corcoran.
Here’s Eyes on the Street Editor Ashley Hahn’s take on the evening:
“Though it was raining horizontally before we embarked, the evening turned out to be perfect. First we headed north, passing Penn Treaty Park and the PECO plant, the Conrail lands, the Lehigh Viaduct, and Petty’s Island. Southbound we passed the Race Street Pier, Center City and paused for an up-close view of the S.S. United States. The rain left behind beautiful clouds for the light to play off of and the framed dramatic skyline silhouettes. The S.S. United States looked like a romantic ruin at sunset.” Here’s her slideshow of our evening on the river.
In March 2007, Ujifusa wrote an incredibly detailed story for PlanPhilly documenting the history of the construction of the SS United States, the fastest trans-Atlantic liner in history, now docked in South Philadelphia along the Delaware River. Ujifusa’s feature remains one of the highest-read stories in PlanPhilly’s history and has helped raise awareness of the historical significance of the “Big U,” the quirks and dedication of its designer, and has bolstered the SS United States Conservancy’s efforts to save it from the scrap yard.