Today, in this age of bloated, outrageously overendowed cruise ships, our elegant national treasure, the SS United States, languishes at a pier in Philadelphia. There, within sight of the diners downing Swedish meatballs at Ikea, she awaits either a successful preservation bid, or the scrapyard. With luck--and a committed backer--it will be the former, says Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States Conservancy and granddaughter of the ship's designer, renowned naval architect William Francis Gibbs. "The SS United States is an American original, an iconic symbol of the nation's post-war pride, national purpose, and industrial might," Gibbs notes. "Not only is she still afloat, but even in her dotage, she symbolizes something important about ambition, innovation, and this nation's can-do spirit. She tells us that anything is possible."