Aug 27 2012
Mar 07 2012
On February 4th, Robert Hammond, Reed Kroloff, and Phillip Cooley toured SS Columbia.
Robert Hammond is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the Highline. The Highline has inspired people around the globe as a model of stewardship and the adaptive re-use of our industrial heritage. Reed Kroloff, the Director of The Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum, has a keen interest in the role of aesthetics and design in the rebuilding and revitalizing of our cities. Phillip Cooley is a community activist, who has spearheaded a number of innovative redevelopment projects in Detroit, contributing to renewal within the city.
We are pleased to have hosted these three highly respected community activists aboard SS Columbia. Each has led projects focusing on stewardship of our industrial past as a means of enriching our experience of the contemporary landscape. SSCP is founded on these same principles and is working toward fostering similar beneficial impacts in the Hudson River Valley and New York Harbor.
Nov 16 2011
Detroit is home to countless ruins, but the floating hulk of the S.S. Columbia, docked in Ecorse, Michigan, stands out among the roster of idled factories and abandoned houses. The oldest remaining steam passenger vessel in the country, the Columbia was built in 1902 with an innovative structural design by Frank E. Kirby and opulent interiors by Louis O. Keil. The steel and wood ship crisscrossed the Detroit River headed for Boblo Island in Ontario for 89 years. Despite insensitive renovations and 20 years of neglect, the grand ballroom, bandstand, mahogany and oak staircases, mahogany paneled walls with etched leaded-glass lights, and ceiling frescos all remain under the layers of paint. The S.S. Columbia Project is charged with the restoration, and a plan is afloat to put the boat back in service in New York’s Hudson Valley. Detroiters shouldn’t despair though. Another steam ship—the S.S. Ste. Claire also docked nearby—may be returned to Detroit’s waterways.
Sep 13 2011
Top left to right: Columbia & Downtown Detroit 1982, Boblo boat SS Columbia 1974 , Columbia at Boblo Island postcard, Columbia leaving Boblo Island 1948.
Clockwise: Boblo boats at Downtown Detroit, Boblo dock sign in Detroit 2001, Boblo brochure 1991, Boblo boats - Ste. Claire & Columbia in Amhurstburg Channel