SS United States, 1996

I grabbed the photo at the top of this page when the historic SS United States was first docked at Pier 82 along the Delaware River in Philadelphia in 1996.

And my friend Sean Kardon posted the photo in the tweet embedded below the with a different view captured at the same location just last night.

During the decades in between there have been countless restoration efforts but it’s not easy to contain my skepticism at this point.

You might spot her faded red smokestacks if you pass through our city along I-95 and it’s easy to hop off and catch the same view I recorded more than 20 years ago.

I also remember that the ship was previously docked further south near Oregon Avenue for some time but that period is never reported in historic accounts for some reason. It seemed like a couple of years.

Finally, I had been thinking that the dark spot on the right side of the image was an overdone darkroom “burn,” but I am beginning to recognize that look you get when shooting close to an out-of-focus chain link fence.