A Quiet Sea

"The Atlantic was like polished plate glass; people later said they had never seen it so smooth."
Walter Lord, A Night to Remember, 1955.

On a calm, clear April night in 1912, the largest vessel in the world, R.M.S. Titanic, steaming westbound on her maiden voyage, brushed an iceberg. Two hours and forty minutes later, she upended and sank. Embraced by the frigid and quiet sea, over 1,500 people perished in the still, moonless and starry expanse of the cold North Atlantic night.

Model of the Titanic at night, © Christian Stenfelt May 5, 2012

R.M.S. Titanic

In 1998, a 15-ton, 26 by 12 foot portion of the Titanic's hull was salvaged from the wreck. Since then, it has been on exhibit at the MGM Luxor Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, a haunting and powerful remnant of the ship and its mythic status.

The intent of this enterprise is to bring the hull section to NYC, on loan for two years, arriving at pier 59, at the foot of West 18th Street, the former White Star pier on the Hudson River waterfront. After saluting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the piece will arrive in Manhattan on April 17, 2027, 112 years to the day past the ship’s scheduled arrival. When it arrives at pier 59, TITANIC and those lost will have symbolically, and poignantly, completed the maiden voyage in the course of their passage through the ages.

© Experiential Media Group screenshot from YouTube video

Titanic Hull Section

This, then, was the TITANIC: an ambitious endeavor with a clear commercial purpose that in legend became a unique marine disaster caused by a cascade of small decisions. If any of these had turned out differently, the ship and the lives lost might have been spared, resulting in the highly anticipated, joyful, and orderly debarkation at Pier 59 more than 110 years ago. Fate, however, decreed that the bond of departure and arrival be broken. The project proposed here seeks to mend, in part, that break.