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

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

Poll: your thoughts on the future of the SS Admiral

At the end of next month the President Casino on the Admiral will close, leaving the future of the art deco boat unknown.

ABOVE: The SS Admiral as part of the President Casino

The SS Admiral has a long history on the St. Louis riverfront:

The hull of the Admiral once belonged to a side-wheel steamboat called the SS Albatross, built in 1907. The Albatross was built in Iowa and used to haul railroad cars at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Streckfus Steamers bought the ship in 1937, and gave it a completely new appearance, new function, and a new name. The designer was Maizie Krebs, a fashion illustrator for Famous-Barr department stores. It was converted from steam to Diesel in the 1970s. In it’s heyday, the Admiral was the largest river cruise ship in the world. It could carry 4,400 passengers. (source)

When I moved to St. Louis in August 1990 I was struck by the beauty of the SS Admiral, then located south of the Eads Bridge.  I’d hate to see it go away but I don’t know if it has a place on the riverfront going forward.

Resources:

The poll this week tries to get at your feelings on the subject.

– Steve Patterson

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