Keeping the Delta Queen Afloat

For those of you who love old steamboats, the National Historic Landmark Delta Queen is the gold standard but its future is in doubt because Congress has refused to exempt it, as it has in previous years, from fire safety standards. It’s been left at the dock in New Orleans since October 2008, and just this month has been moved up to Chattanooga to be used temporarily as a hotel until the owner and its many supporters hope to work out a compromise or regain the exemption. Check out the Save the Delta Queen website to keep up to date on its status and join the effort to keep this amazing boat on the Mississippi River. To me, preservation is about preserving and maintaining places, and in this case, you can’t really preserve the place that is the Delta Queen if you tie her up to the dock and make her into a stationary hotel–it would be an interesting place to stay, no doubt, but it wouldn’t be the Delta Queen, whose place is the entire Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Categories: Cool Old Places, Historic Preservation

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