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Full Speed Ahead! The SS Columbia Project pays tribute to founder Richard Anderson and makes plans for restoration and transport.

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hen Richard Anderson first laid eyes on SS Columbia, he found her co ndi tio n wanting. Launched in 1902, the Columbia ran fo r ninety years as a passenger steamer, but in the years since she was retired in 199 1 she endured significant damage and disrepair. H er hull deteriorated and her mechanical systems are o ut of date; her o riginal deco r- boasring mahogany panelin g, gilded moldings, a grand sraircase, and even an open-air ballroom- is unresro red, and

"To envisio n the Colum bia fully resto red and plying the beauti ful waters of the Hudson River is a d ream we can all ado pt," rem arked Mr. Ellio tt. "H e has left it to us w carry o n his dream." This dream is exactly wh at the SS Columbia Project hopes will be a reality as they move fo rwa rd w ith executing p lans fo r her reswratio n and transpo rt. The lo ng-term goal is that an operatio nal SS Columbia w ill serve to restore a historic water transpo rtatio n system berween the Hudson Valley and New Yo rk

(left) SS Columbia laid up in Detroit; (right) as celebrated on postcards and other promotional materials from her heyday.

C ity. Passengers aboard the Columbia will be her safety sys tems are inadequate for presencouraged to explore the area-visiting the ent-day operations. The ship lives in rem any historic sites, museums, galleries, gartirement now on the outskirts of D etroit, dens, and scenic attractio ns that exist in loand, tho ugh she is beloved by many, her cal communities, and of course, dining and fare was for a long rime uncertain . That is, unti l her story reached Richard, who desho pping. O nboard activi ties will include a firsthand look at how the m assive a ntiq ue cided to undertake a noble and challengsteam engi ne is o perated, guided to urs of ing quest: to salvage and restore her and the vessel, lectures, and cultural programs put her back into service. His vision began for children. w take shape as h e m obilized fri ends and To m ake this happen, the SS Co lumencouraged proponents-bo th in D etroit bia Project h as developed a rwo-ph ase opand N ew York. H e applied for (and reRichard Anderson (1962- 2 013) erational stra tegy: Phase I is res torati o n and ceived) grants, assembled a board, set up a sys tem for donations and found ed the SS Columbia Project Phase II is operation on rhe Hudson Ri ver. U nder the guidance (SSCP), rhe non-profit o rganizatio n that has acquired the ship of experts in ship repair and historic ship preservatio n, Phase and has taken on its revitalization . But earlier this year, the ve ry I will be set up to allow visitors to view the wo rk of rhe restoteam that had com e to share Richard's dream was charged with ration itself. Phase II encom passes the ship's operation in the a so rrowfu l and unexpected task: anno uncing his death to sup- Hudson Valley and New Yo rk H arbo r. "I thin k many of us lo ng fo r an oppo rtunity to be part o f som ething bigger than we are," po rters of the proj ect after he passed in January of this year. "Richard was brave in undertakin g the SSCP and brave in said Mr. Osbo rn. "We wa n t to be enco uraged to rake risks, to the way he faced his illness," said Bob Ell iott, acting co-chair- reach fo r high goals, to make a difference and have an impact. man of rhe SS C P "The project lives o n today out of loyal ty and Richard inspired those sparks in us-fanned the fl am es of our ad m iration fo r Richard Anderson." Fred O sbo rn III, who sirs own deep-down desires-and his spi rit leads us o nward, 'o ne alongside Mr. Elliott as co-chairman , echoed these sentiments. step at a time,' to see that magnificent vessel bustling up the "Richard had a way of making one think creatively; he m anaged migh ty Hudson River." to kindle o ur enthusias m and dampen any of o ur skepticism Help support the SS Columbia Project! V isit our website about rhe project. 'One step ar a tim e,' he wo uld say, and we all ar www.sscolumbia.org to do nate o nline. Contributio ns are wo uld listen." also gratefully accep ted in pers;on or by mail at our offices: SS In a m em o rial service held fo r Richard o n 29 June at his Columbia Project, 232 East l l 1rh Street, New Yo rk, NY 10003. house overlooking rhe Hudson Ri ve r, fri ends spoke about real- For mo re info rmatio n, inq uiriess can be made to boa rd m embers: izing h is vision, saying rhar they could imagine the Columbia Bob Elliott, Fred O sbo rn III, }roa n D avidso n and Ke nt Barwick; steaming past, ringing her bell every tim e she passed his h o use. or to Laura Bintzer, SSCP admiinist rato r. -Laura Bintzer

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SEA 1HISTORY 144, AUTUMN 201 3

Sea History 144 - Autumn 2013  

12 Historic Ships on a Lee Shore-Update on USS Olympia, by Burchenal Green • 14 Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 2013, by Captain Walter R...

Sea History 144 - Autumn 2013  

12 Historic Ships on a Lee Shore-Update on USS Olympia, by Burchenal Green • 14 Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 2013, by Captain Walter R...