UPDATE: Locals fear possible demolition of Queen Mary

The RMS Queen Mary has weathered rogue seas, transcontinental crossings, and even a global war in the 85 years since its inaugural journey. The iconic ship had a second life anchored at Long Beach for the past five decades, experiencing the highs and lows of popularity as a tourist hotspot. However, the legendary vessel is about to embark on its most difficult journey yet. 

According to a cache of court records and inspection reports published in 2021, the Queen Mary’s current condition is the result of years of neglect by a line of operators. The ship requires at least $23 million in rapid repairs. There is growing concern that unless something is done quickly, the ship may deteriorate to the point of collapse. The Queen Mary is currently in a condition of decay that includes rusted structural steel, an aged bilge system, a weakened hull, and numerous leaks and safety issues. 

Urban Commons, a real estate investment group located in Los Angeles, emerged in 2016 with a goal and a strategy. The business negotiated a 66-year lease and launched Eagle Hospitality Trust three years later to raise financing for a $250 million retail development dubbed Queen Mary Island around the ship. However, with more than $500 million in obligations, the trust and its related organizations filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, along with a move to auction their possessions, including their leasehold ownership of the Queen Mary.

Long Beach residents and officials appear to have reached the same conclusion: the ship must be preserved. However, the Queen Mary is intended to be permanently closed and dismantled owing to a lack of finance and profit.

Unless a proposal is implemented soon, the Queen Mary appears to be doomed to demolition and decades of forgotten memories.


Sofia Youngs