Ship in a cloud bank -- 1998.

Lincoln Highway's Ship of the Alleghenies Burns

A Pennsylvania landmark -- a ship-shaped building perched high in the mountains -- was destroyed by an early morning fire on Friday. For 79 years, the Noah's Ark (aka the Ship Hotel, and "The Ship of the Alleghenies") had been a popular tourist pull-off along Route 30 (Lincoln Highway), east of Central City, although it had been closed and deteriorating for several years.

By the time local firefighters arrived, the roof had been consumed and the structure couldn't be saved. No cause has been determined; the owner noted he kept a light on and the television running to discourage break-ins at the Ark, which was uninhabited and only reachable by Route 30.

Rear view of the Ship Hotel.

"S.S. Grand View Hotel" was created by Herbert Paulson in 1932, building on a successful tourist venue on the mountain crossing. The four floor structure featured dining on the top floor, along with a souvenir shop and deck with real ship's wheel and scenic overlook. The lower levels were hotel rooms.

Lincoln Highway preservationists had hoped to purchase the building and restore it, but the owner wanted a price far in excess of its appraised value. The only remaining Roadside structure in the area is the coffeepot gas station in Bedford, on Business Route 30.

[10/27/2001]

August 28, 2014

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