Explanation of Recommendations for Promenade Deck

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Deckplan as built
Deckplan as is in 2000

Forward Stairs to Main Deck - in the initial Long Beach conversion (1968 – 1971) the pair of exterior teak stairs from Promenade Deck down to Main deck were removed. They were replaced with steel stairs set into the port and starboard edges of the ship (photo - below).  The restoration of the original teak stairs, possibly widened, and removal of the metal stairs that alter the forward profile of the historic ship is worth consideration for improved authenticity. Click here to see a similar set of stairs still in place on the ship today.


The photos to the left show the stairs added in the conversion. The photo below shows the original locations of teak stairs.



Outdoor Deck Area Forward of Observation Bar – the forward outdoor deck area was originally open for first class passenger circulation. It was annexed to the Observation Bar in the late 1980s for use as an outdoor seating area. A set of double doors was inserted into the center of the forward exterior bulkhead of the Observation Bar at this time (photo - left). The doors change the historic face of the ship, allow sea air into the Observation Bar creating a uncomfortable draft for patrons while damaging the original paneling and paintings inside. And they are an energy-inefficiency for the ship’s HVAC system.

We recommend this encroachment be entirely removed along with the new doors. Any potential loss of revenue to the Observation Bar is more than replaced through the use of the broad back of Sun Deck behind the Verandah Grill as an outdoor café. 

This new Sun Deck location (photos below) offers a sweeping view of both the Long Beach skyline and the Southern California coastline -- one that is superior to that offered in the cramped forward deck area now used as a "patio" for the Observation Bar.


Interior of Observation Bar – the 24 karat gold leaf should be restored to the cove over the bar along with the creative original lighting scheme.

(Lights on the gold leaf in the cove indirectly light the painting over the bar.) Other original ceiling light fixtures should be restored as well. 

The comfortable original sofa seating arrangement on the lower platform near the bar should be returned to the room along with the original color scheme. 

Original furnishings or replicas and adaptations thereof should be considered. 

The Observation Bar was expanded by incorporating the forward enclosed promenade during the Long Beach conversion. We see two options for restoration of the Observation Bar.

  • In Option A, the area annexed to the bar during the initial Long Beach conversion remains integrated into the bar.
  • In Option B the enclosed promenade is restored and the Observation Bar returns to its original dimensions on Promenade Deck.

Option A - the main benefits are the larger size and capacity of this facility and the more immediate and direct forward view. The negative impact is loss of the forward enclosed promenade for internal circulation and also loss of its insulating atmospheric advantages to the interior of the ship. To compensate for its loss the interior companionway or ship cross-corridor just aft of the Observation Bar (seen in the left photo below) was opened up to the enclosed promenade to serve the same purpose. 


All sets of interior doors were removed (above - left) to allow easy guest circulation. But this also opens the delicate interiors of the Queen Mary to the salt sea air. It seeps in day and night through the large openings that serve as entrances and exits to Promenade Deck from the forward and aft boarding tower ramps and flows into the interior spaces where the doors between the promenade and interior of the ship have been removed (above - photo right).

There are significant changes to both exterior temperature, (as much as 30 degrees in a single day), and to the humidity in this coastal location. We believe that it is essential that the operator effectively address this breach in atmospheric control for the interiors of this historic structure at Promenade Deck and all other decks with a like situation as soon as possible.

Option B - would result in restoring the Observation Bar to its original dimensions. The forward enclosed promenade area added to it during the conversion (below - left) would be returned to it original passageway role. The barriers to the enclosed promenade (below - right) disappears. 


To compensate for the loss of seating area and direct view, the large room directly above might be connected to the OB as a lounge. Either one or two spiral staircases could be inserted into the peripheral pantry and former darkroom areas (photo - left). The lounge above on Sun deck might be decorated ensuite with the bar below.

Click on this image to see a deckplan showing the impact on this area of Promenade Deck and Sun Deck for Implementation of Option B.

First Funnel Hatch area – a pair of high speed service elevators that serve D deck to Sports deck are installed in the starboard portion of the first funnel shaft.

Main Hall and adjacencies – the postwar pattern of linoleum restored in the mid-1990s in the Main Hall might be extended into the passageway areas forward towards the Observation Bar. The custom designed area rug and full seating compliment of leather sofas and chairs in the center of the Main Hall might be recreated. The elegant ceiling, postwar faux leather treatment on the walls, as well as the display cases needs serious restoration. The glass and wood doors to the main hall from the enclosed promenades removed in the late 1980s should be rehung. The lighting scheme needs restoration as well.

We see the Main Hall area and adjacencies continuing to serve as the primary retail area on the ship. But rather than housing a series of leased gift shops that are unrelated to the original functions of the rooms they occupy we see this set of rooms serving as showcases for the merchandise program of the Queen Mary as well as reflecting the original purpose of each room. See the related articles listed in the index for this deck for further details.

The First Class Lounges – were a carefully planned and magnificently decorated set of public rooms arranged in a circular pattern. These included the Main Lounge, the Long Gallery, the Smoking Room, the Ballroom and the Starboard Gallery. Restored they might be used singly or ensuite for receptions, weddings and as a live-entertainment center. These rooms were a highlight of the visit to the pre-war ship.

  • The original mechanical area that is at the center of these rooms would serves as their pantry area. It would be connected to the upper deck kitchens that we propose to create on Sun Deck directly above, as well as to the original main kitchens on R four decks below.
  • We see the second funnel hatch area, that was decked over in the conversion and now used as an exhibit area, becoming a chair storage and logistics area for the restored Main Lounge.
  • We see lobby areas inserted between the major public rooms to allow for more gracious entrances from the enclosed promenades when used singly. All obstructions between the rooms original internal connecting hallways system should be removed so that when they are used or shown ensuite the sweeping elegance is again entirely obvious. The direct entrances from the enclosed promenade added during the conversion (shown in these three photos) are closed.


Current Entrance to Chelsea Restaurant

Current Entrance to Queen's Salon (1st Class Lounge)

Current Entrance to retail unit (was Long Gallery)

Enclosed promenades – we see restoration efforts on both the port and starboard enclosed promenades including the teak decking, the wainscoting, and the original bronze windows. To begin the process the drainage or scupper system must be repaired. The 3 degree list to the portside maintained to facilitate water drainage since the Queen Mary has been docked at Pier J in Long Beach has resulted in damage to the steel curtain wall of the ship on Promenade Deck, portside. The bronze window frames, once restored, might be treated with the new PVB technology to minimize future maintenance needs.
We suggest removal of all shop front build outs added since the ship came to Long Beach. They diminish the authenticity of the ship and are unnecessary to retailing operations on the ship.
We recommend removing other atmosphere destroying incursions such as the ready teller and penny press machines. The ready cash teller nearby might be relocated to a lobby area.
  • We recommend re-planning and relocating the myriad of water pipes and electric wiring conduits added to the ceiling over the years since the ship has been in Long Beach. Originally they were set into an enclosed case housings.
  • We recommend removing the conversion introduced Promenade Café, Chelsea Restaurant and catering rooms on starboard side (see photos below) 

Left - The forward part of Promenade deck (starboard-side) looking aft towards the Promenade Cafe.

Right - the Promenade Cafe.


The Chelsea Restaurant


Starboard-Side Catering Rooms Today

These rooms obstruct both the original and proposed pedestrian traffic flow; they block the flow of natural light into the original public rooms and are simply unnecessary here. As good or better restaurant amenities can be created on Sun Deck.

The only significant value of the current aft catering rooms pictured above is the view out of their window. The original adjacent lounge facilities i.e., the Starboard Gallery, the pre-war Ballroom and both Smoking Rooms were far more significant in terms of the caliber of interior design, size and revenue generating potential for the operation of the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

The forward portion of the starboard-enclosed promenade (photo left) might serve as a walk through casual café area, not unlike the Café Parisien on the Titanic or the walk-through garden lounge planned here at the time of the conversion. (See original design drawing below). The major difference between this proposed amenity and the current ones is that the proposed cafe it is an open walk though area, not an obstruction to pedestrian flow of the deck.

Original plans for the ship's Long Beach conversion show a walk-through "Garden Lounge"

  • Deckchair service that includes light food and beverages is incorporated into the aft portion of the restored starboard-enclosed promenade.
  • The doorway entrances to the lobbies between the major public rooms require careful design to make them prominent enough to be easy to find yet also fit in well with the original design of the enclosed promenades. They would be located where smaller entrances and service pantries were once found

Promenade Deck - aft area – we see the area aft of the First Class Smoking Room reserved for hotel guest and Club Queen Mary members' use. By simply replacing the second class barriers and reopening of the prewar crosswalk forward of them, tourists and other guests can circle the forward portion of this deck with the same convenience afforded prewar first class passengers. The reserved area includes the fully restored second class entrance and grand staircase, second class smoking room, aft enclosed promenades and open deck space beyond.

Aft Engine Hatch Service Elevators - The introduction of two high-speed service elevators into the starboard side of the aft engine hatch would negate the need to use passenger/guest elevators for catering and housekeeping chores. The continuing damage to the woodwork of the cab of the passenger elevator at frame 70 is the direct result of this heavy-duty use.

Photos showing exterior of "Frame 70" elevator on board, and (right) close up of damaged interior.

Such damage can only be stopped effectively if new service elevators for catering use are installed. The use of upper deck lounges for banqueting purposes exacerbates this logistical problem that is damaging to the fabric of the ship and also inconveniences guests.

Dome over Second Class Main Lounge – The clutter of stairs added in the 1980’s is removed. 


Left - Arrow shows original location of tennis court where the above photographed raised platform stands today (photo - right). 

The restored rooftop again functions as a deck tennis court that is reserved for hotel guest and club member use in the daytime. It can function as a dance floor in the evening as is or as an outdoor stage for the Verandah Café/Starlight Club through the use of a discretely installed hydraulic lift system.

The restoration efforts and changes recommended here are a further refinement of the adaptive reuse plan for Promenade Deck that was put in place in the 1970s. We believe that a more historically and architecturally sensitive adaptive reuse plan will revitalize the attraction and enhance the revenue generating capabilities of the deck for retail sales, entertainment and hospitality services.

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