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Flagship FAQS: Why doesn't the Conservancy repaint the SS United States?

Today, we're back to answer another important question posed by our generous supporters: Why doesn't the Conservancy repaint the SS United States?

America's Flagship has a weather-worn appearance at her current pier in Philadelphia. While the vessel remains structurally sound, the ship was withdrawn from service in 1969 and has not been re-coated in almost 50 years.

Some of our supporters have urged us to paint the ship's exterior, starting with the ship's two iconic red, white and blue funnels — the Conservancy has explored this prospect in depth. We have examined repainting the funnels, as well as "wrapping" them in a Tyvek-style product. Unfortunately, neither of these options are feasible at the vessel's current location. Exterior and interior restoration work must be completed in tandem with the ship’s full redevelopment at a shipyard facility because of the high cost, the complexity of the project, and restrictions on performing large-scale work on the vessel in her current location. To repaint the ship’s iconic funnels alone would total almost $500,000.


For more answers to frequently asked questions about the SS United States and the Conservancy, CLICK HERE to read our full summary. Additionally, you can always drop us a line at

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