Today in history: Admiral sails from downtown St. Louis for the final time –


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ST. LOUIS ( – A staple on the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis for decades made its final voyage 10 years ago.The 375-foot SS Admiral could carry 4,000 people and was considered St. Louis’ most recognized attraction before the Gateway Arch was built. The boat hosted steamboat operating excursions from 1940 to 1978. In 1979, hull weakness discovered by the Coast Guard ended the ship’s cruising days.In 1987 the boat was re-purposed as an amusement center. Then, in 1990 it was converted to the President Casino, which had 1,230 slot machines, 59 gaming tables, 18 restrooms and a restaurant.In April 1998 the vessel was hit by drifting barges and over 2,000 people had to be shuttled to safety from the boat. Damages from the crash were estimated to be around $11 million.St. Louis Marine bought by the boat in 2010. On July 19, 2011 the Admiral was moved to Columbia, Illinois to be scrapped.

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