Monday, February 4, 2013 - 3:20pm
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Richard Anderson was ten years old when he walked into the Melville Library at South Street Seaport in 1972. Even at that young age, he was passionate about historic ships. And not just any old historic ship. "He had an obsession," Norman Brouwer, librarian and historian, said. "He wanted to find a steam vessel and be the one to rescue it."

Richard Anderson, founder of the SS Columbia Project, died on January 21 after a brief illness.

After graduating from Columbia College in 1984, Richard worked in banking in London and Paris, and later opened art galleries in Chelsea, SoHo and Tribeca. Throughout these years he continued to be a presence in the maritime world, always looking for a ship to save and traveling farther afield in his searches.

Several years ago, Richard discovered the glorious, dilapidated, 207-foot passenger steam vessel SS Columbia, built in 1902, languishing in the backwaters of Detroit, and became determined to restore and operate the National Historic Landmark on the Hudson River. He founded the SS Columbia Project.

Today, the directors of the SS Columbia Project vow to restore the grand ship and bring her to New York, in Richard Anderson's honor.

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