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Photos: On board the SS United States ship for its historic lighting

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Even Santa made an appearance

SS United States ship with its smokestacks lit up.
The SS United States ship lit up for the first time in decades on Wednesday night.
Photos by Melissa Romero

The SS United States ship may not be setting sail anytime soon, but it is shining a bit brighter at Pier 87 while docked in South Philly.

The historic ship, once the fastest in the world, lit up Wednesday night for the first time in decades, its towering smokestacks on display well after sunset.

With a $10,000 donation from cruise industry executive Jim Pollin, the conservancy spent the past week installing a new generator and LED equipment to light portions of both the interior and exterior of the historic vessel. The plan, we’re told, is to make the night-time lighting a permanent fixture going forth, and to hopefully light up the rest of the ship down the road.

The ceremonial lighting Wednesday night, which included an appearance by Santa, ended the saga of the SS United States on a good note for 2016, a year that marked the disappointing decision that the ship’s technical challenges deemed it too unfit to set sail. The news came six months after SS United States Conservancy’s exciting announcement that it planned to revive the ship and return it to the seas.

Curbed Philly was given access onto the massive ship, which fun fact, is 100-feet longer than the Titanic. Take a tour inside and onboard the newly-lit ocean liner.

Want to see the SS United States lit up in all its LED glory? It’s docked at Pier 87, and easily viewed from the IKEA parking lot on Columbus Boulevard in South Philly.