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The SS Palo Alto and the Surprising History of Concrete Ships

The SS Palo Alto and the Surprising History of Concrete Ships | Mobile Ranger

Stashed in: Palo Alto, I should buy a boat.

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What a great story! Yay marine life!

The SS Palo Alto, although launched, was not commissioned until October 20, 1920. It had its first and only voyage under its own (steam) power on January 2, 1921. The same year it was towed to Benicia, California and mothballed.

In 1930 the SS Palo Alto was towed to Seacliff State Beach by the Seacliff Amusement Corporation and sunk a few feet into the water. A dance floor, swimming pool, and a café were added transforming the SS Palo Alto into an amusement ship for two years until, with the help of the Great Depression, the company went bankrupt. Shortly thereafter, the ship cracked at the midsection during a winter storm. In 1936 the State of California purchased the ship for $1 and made it part of Seacliff State Beach. The foredeck of the ship was closed to the public in 1958, but the afterdeck is closest to the beach and remained open until at least the 1970s and possibly the mid-1980s, when access was completely closed off for safety reasons. Today she serves as an artificial reef for marine life.

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