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End of the Line for the United States?

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The boat, not the country. Well, possibly also the country:

The SS United States, a historic ship that still holds the transatlantic speed record it set more than 70 years ago, must leave its berth on the Delaware River in Philadelphia by Sept. 12, a federal judge says.

The decision issued Friday by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody culminated a years-old rent dispute between the conservancy that oversees the 1,000-foot ocean liner and its landlord, Penn Warehousing. It stemmed from an August 2021 decision by Penn Warehousing to double the ship’s daily dockage to $1,700, an increase the conservancy refused to accept.

When the conservancy continued to pay its previous rate, set in 2011, Penn Warehousing terminated the lease in March 2022. After much legal wrangling, Brody held a bench trial in January but also encouraged the two sides to reach a settlement instead of leaving it up to her.

The judge ultimately ruled that the conservancy’s failure to pay the new rate did not amount to a contract breach or entitle Penn Warehousing to damages. But she also ruled that under Pennsylvania contract law, the berthing agreement is terminable at will with reasonable notice, which Penn Warehousing had issued in March 2022.

If you’re walking or driving near the waterfront in Philly the United States just sort of suddenly appears, like a ghost out of a post-apocalyptic movie. The interior of the ship was gutted a long time ago. I’m all for the preservation of historic ships, but I’m honestly not sure of the point of prolonging the death throes of the United States any longer. The boat, not the country.

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