We have a bold new vision for the downtown riverfront in the Bold City!
The establishment of the Jacksonville Naval Museum (JNM) and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA) is finalizing the acquisition of the museum-ship the ex-USS Orlek. We estimate her arrival to be in early Fall. The ship will become the JNM center piece & will be known as the “US NAVY COLD WAR EXPERIENCE”.
The Orleck, a Gearing Class destroyer with 18 battle stars is one of the most distinguished ships of all time and the most since the end of World War II! As a Gearing Class destroyer, she will represent the 16 past Gearing Class destroyers that called Mayport home. Additionally, having served in the Cold, Korean, & Vietnam Wars she will not only represent the rich Naval Heritage of Jacksonville but also honor all military veterans in the Region.
The museum would hold historical & STEM education opportunities to younger generations of residents & be a center point for school field trips, to college ROTC & high school JROTCs, Boy scouts, & other youth groups. Other groups like Naval Reunions and Navy Balls, Galas, & Leadership symposiums can be held at the museum. Future visions include a Park near the ship that would create a beautiful green space along the river. The possibilities are endless!
Jacksonville owns the 3rd largest concentration of US Navy in the nation, but does not have a Naval M useum while smaller Naval towns like do. With over 183 total Navy commands & an economic impact of $9.89 billion & 85,886 jobs (DEC 2017 study), & the JNM’s ~economic impact of $31 million, this should be an easy decision for the City of Jacksonville(COJ) to make & support this great project!
What we will need from the City of Jacksonville is support and renewed permits and leasing agreements for the pier and land. The funding support will be used to complete the work to prepare the area for the Or/eek to be moored to, a small administration and ticketing office building, parking lot construction, and other safety and general construction.
The JNM will add a 4th museum downtown and will elevate tourism, stimulate economic growth, & help create jobs!