Jacksonville, FL - It’s a project that’s been years in the making- the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association says they’ve now secured the funding needed to bring the USS Charles F. Adams to the First Coast.
The intent is to convert the guided missile destroyer to a museum, moored at the Jacksonville Shipyards.
“This is a terrific milestone in the long and exciting journey of establishing Florida’s first naval warship museum in Downtown Jacksonville,” says JHNSA CEO Joe Snowberger.
After years of fundraising, Snowberger says they’ve received donations to cover the formal acquisition of the ship- including some shipyard time- and towing it down to Jacksonville. The State has previously committed $1 million to establishing the mooring for the ship.
There is still some more work to do and agreements to finalize, but Snowberger says they’ve built a strong partnership with the Navy, City of Jacksonville, and Downtown Investment Authority, so he doesn’t expect they’ll face substantial obstacles. He says the biggest challenge right now is finding that shipyard time, which they’re currently slating for later this year. If that holds up, then he says the USS Adams could be in Jacksonville by January.
“Then we can begin the real work of transitioning her from a really awesome warship into the state’s most fabulous new attraction,” Snowberger says.
The Downtown Investment Authority says they haven’t yet received any documentation that shows JHNSA has secured the funding needed for the project. Until they receive that, they wouldn’t comment on what the next steps could possibly be. The City of Jacksonville deferred comments on this project to the DIA.
The USS Adams spent much of her service based at Naval Station Mayport, which is why Snowberger says it’s so fitting to have her return home.
“It would honor Jacksonville’s military and maritime heritage,” he says.
While the plan would be to establish a berth at the Shipyards, Snowberger says their initial location would likely be a temporary one, pending the full redevelopment of the Jacksonville Shipyards. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is currently in negotiations with the DIA to redevelop the long-vacant site, but has expressed an intention to incorporate the USS Adams in to his final plan. This is the second time Khan and the City have gone through negotiations for this redevelopment project, so it’s unclear what the overall timeline for the greater Shipyards project will be.
You can learn more about the museum plans and ship history, and support the project, on the USS Adams website.