Only the view left at Grand View Point

ship_cy_fin0001I drove east on the Lincoln Highway last weekend to wrap up my research on the S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel. The Ship, west of Bedford, PA, was one of the best-loved roadside attractions until it burned in 2001. Good weather, a productive trip, lots of photos, and a good book on tape made it fun, but it’s still sad to see the Ship gone and odd to see so many places changed. Old signs gone, new buildings in operation, more lanes for traffic.


Little now changes at Grand View Point. Vandals have taken about all they can, particularly from the lighthouses that once graced each end of the wall. Here’s a very short clip of what remains – not at all exciting but it documents what’s there today. I posted another on YouTube taken when I crawled down the hill.

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8 Responses to “Only the view left at Grand View Point”

  1. Roadog Says:

    Sure would have liked to have seen this.

  2. dinerhotline Says:

    nice footage Brian. I especially like your before and after postcard/photo

  3. William Eviston Says:

    I have an old photo postcard of the Grand View Point Service Station that I would like to send, but need an email address to contact. Let me know if it is (or isn’t) of interest. Appears to be in its prime.

    • brianbutko Says:

      Hi William, thanks for offering, I think I have that exact postcard for my Ship Hotel book. If you’d like to send a scan I’m brian *at*

  4. TC Says:


    I remember the ship quite well, was shocked when I learned it went up in flames. If you have access to the blue prints why hasn’t anyone considered re-building? Can’t the local historical society find a filthy rich party willing to re-build? Besides Frank Loyd’s place this was perhaps one of the most unique structures in PA. Thank you for the memories.

    • brianbutko Says:

      There are endless obstacles to rebuilding, money chief among them. The problem for the past 60 years has been that traffic overwhelmingly chooses the PA Turnpike, and with it goes any hope of an entrepreneur recouping their investment.

  5. Bradley Meek Says:

    I was lucky enough to have visited it many times with my parents in the 50’s and 60’s. It was definitely a childhood highlight. I especially remember a gift for sale on the counter for many years. It was a conestoga wagon and I clearly remember the picture of a saguaro cactus on the side. If my memory serves me correct it had a light in side it. Sad to hear it is gone

  6. mary stevens Says:

    I now live in Ohio, . I’ve lived here since 1955. I went to school in Shanksville, I lived two farms from where the 911 plane crash occurred.
    When I was in school I worked at the Ship hotel for two years till I graduated, then moved, I worked in the kitchen, served customers, & helped clean the rooms upstairs. My girlfriend from school & I worked there together, we had a room in the lower part of the ship. We loved working there, meeting the people, & working for the Paulsons,
    During our breaks or on our days off you would find us up on the deck
    enjoying the view, it was nice looking over the mountains.
    Doing some research today on the crash site, looked up the ship hotel.
    Just found out it wasn’t there anymore, it was a shame someone had to destroy
    such a beautiful landmark. My daughter remembers me taking them back one year. I’m so sorry I will never get to see it again, but I still have my memories of working there.Anyone that had the privilege of seeing it had a great experience

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