Photos by Asia Morris.
For the first time in over 15 years, the Queen Mary’s exterior will be painted, to be restored to its original colors with the job expected to take about eight months.
This morning, Urban Commons, the leaseholder of the Queen Mary, and Mayor Robert Garcia celebrated the beginning of restorations with the first ceremonial brushstrokes painting the floating hotel’s Sports Deck.
Monday also marked the beginning of another major task, treating the corrosion that has built up on the ship’s exterior over the past 80 years. Using an environmentally friendly coating, Maxon-CRS, to eliminate existing oxidation and prevent future rust, Urban Commons will start with the exterior and gradually work their way to the interior.
“It’s a momentous day,” John Jenkins, vice president of asset management with Urban Commons said. “We are undertaking one of the largest paint jobs the city has ever seen.”
And it’s a paint job that simply can’t wait. A report released in March “revealed that the Queen needed some $289 million in urgent repairs to prevent the hull from collapsing and flooding within the next few years,” according to an article written in March on Urban Commons’ plans for the Long Beach landmark and the land surrounding it.
“What you’re going to see over the course of this next year and as this project completes [...] this ship is going to be radiant, it’s going to look fantastic,” Garcia said. “People are going to be even more excited and proud to be a part of its history, and its future as well.”
In 1967 at the end of the Queen Mary’s ocean-faring life and when it landed in Long Beach, the city transformed the vessel into a shoreside attraction and hotel, sandblasting some 320 tons of paint from the hull of the ship, Commodore Everette Hoard said.
“Some of the paint chips were more than an inch thick, and sandwiched between the colors of the peacetime layers were the wartime layers,” Hoard continued. “The Queen Mary's heroic war time where she carried some 810-thousand military personnel to Europe in the pursuit of peace.”
Approximately 240,000 square feet will be repainted, with the ship restored to its original colors, Garcia said. The largest impact of the restoration will be visible on the smokestacks, which will be a slightly different color when finished.
“I’m especially excited today because this ship is finally getting the paint job that it deserves,” Garcia said. “I’m really proud and thankful to Urban Commons for making the investment and partnering with the city to ensure that the ship looks in prime shape.”
You can follow Urban Commons’ renovation of the ship on the Queen Mary’s Facebook page here where #FixItFriday and #SolutionSaturday posts reveal discoveries made as progress continues.