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Readers want the SS Admiral riverboat to remain on the St. Louis riverfront

June 9, 2010 Downtown, Weekly Poll 7 Comments
ABOVE: "The SS Admiral on the St. Louis riverfront prior to its 1940 clearance for the Arch photo from the Library of Congress archives" Source: Vanishing STL on Flickr

By a huge margin the readers who voted in the poll last week want to see the SS Admiral remain on the St. Louis Riverfront:

Q: The SS Admiral’s days on the river may be numbered with the closing of the casino next month. Which best describes your view?

  1. The Admiral is a key part of the riverfront, I’d like to see it retained somehow. 79 [62.2%]
  2. The Admirals’ day is past, it should be removed from the riverfront. 36 [28.35%]
  3. Unsure/no opinion. 6 [4.72%]
  4. Other answer… 6 [4.72%]

Clearly though a large group is ready to let it go.  The following were the six “other” answers:

  1. I’d like to see it retained as, say, a museum for St. Louis’ riverboat
  2. It’s not “key” to the riverfront – but it seems like an opportuni
  3. glad to see a casino go but would like the iconic boat to stay
  4. It’s structure is in poor condition and should be removed for safety reason
  5. Dry-dock it somewhere in the city as a restaurant/entertainment complex
  6. Turn it into a floating hotel, restaurant or possibly a floating movie theater.

I personally would like to see the boat remain.  I’ve never stepped foot onto the boat so I have no sentimental attachment to the former riverboat turned fixed casino.  It has always brought a smile to my face.  Now hidden behind casino entrance, the design brings a smile to my face.  But how do we save it?

– Steve Patterson

  • Adam

    Put it on top of the City Museum?

  • Double J

    I wish there was a commercially viable option for the Admiral. After its cruising days it was largely unsuccessful and sat vacant until it became a casino. The few times I have been in it over the past five years or so little of the grandeur of the past seemed to have remained.

  • Daron Dierkes

    I think the easiest thing is for it it just end up being donated to the River Museum in Alton and figuring it out from there. If they dry dock it, ok. If they can come up with the money to rehull it, awesome.

    I'd like to see the River Museum get a campus in Jefferson Barracks and somewhere around the arch competition on either side of the river. If the Admiral was a museum going up and down the river between the three sites, it'd be magical.

  • JZ71

    The real challenge is its size. Even if a funding source could be found to pay for the renovation costs, it's going to be difficult to develop a viable business model for its daily operation. Most boats offering daily cruises, in the 2-3 hour range, are much smaller, for a reason. In today's world, many people would rather take a “fun”, shorter, amphibious duck tour than to take a more-formal 2-3 hour dinner cruise, as just one example.

    And since the casino model is going away, there aren't a lot of static models that make sense. Another strip club (on the other side of the river)? Floating condos? Another banquet hall/wedding venue? Charter school? A rec center for downtown residents and workers? Perhaps the most viable would be for the new museum certain parties are pushing for the arch grounds . . .

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      Some creative person can think of something. Any business plan would need to assume being closed part of the year due to flooding.

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  • Eddieschmitt

    Put it on the river between the legs of the Arch and make a St. Louis History Museum showing St. Louis from day one to the present.

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