Jacksonville Shipyard Site
Recently JHNSA and ACVA have focused on the concept of using a concrete fascia fronted bulkhead on the North Bank of the St. Johns River that was part of the former Jacksonville Shipyard. This idea has been discussed with NAVSEA in previous discussions and reports over the past year. The interim/temporary use of this mooring location would greatly reduce the cost of providing a mooring location for the ship museum in Jacksonville while fundraising for Acosta Bridge mooring site continues. The engineering design requirements for preparing the bulkhead pier at the site for the mooring of ADAMS have been defined by our long term mooring and environmental engineers Sandy Rice and Gary Howalt. This location would reduce the overall initial museum cost by over $5 million.
Shipyard View of Proposed Location for the Adams Pier
Shipyard site facing Downtown
The north bank mooring at the former Jacksonville Shipyards property has stimulated the recent and acute interest in the area business community. for the project and has buoyed our belief that the fundraising goals will be met in 2013. Jacksonville City Council President, Bill Bishop (instrumental in the passage of city Ordinance 2010-675-E that approved the ship museum site adjacent to the east side of the Acosta Bridge on the south bank) is introducing a modification to the city Ordinance to allow the ship museum to be placed at the bulkhead at the Shipyard site on the North Bank in a temporary moor for at least three years after the ship is donated by the Navy. This modification will allow the use of approximately 3 acres of the 23 total acres at the former shipyard site as a temporary location that could lead to a long-term/mooring location, while fundraising continues.
Mr. William “Bill” Gay, Sr. (Chairman, W.W. Gay Mechanical, principal supporter of the JHNSA); and John H. Rutherford, the elected Jacksonville Sheriff in Duval County, have joined forces to co-chair the JHNSA Executive Board to lead the community fundraising support for the Adams Class Naval Ship Museum (ACNSM). JHNSA leaders have been working closely with Chris Flagg of Flagg Design Studio LLC. Mr. Flagg is the chairman of DVI (www.downtownjacksonville.org). DVI is Jacksonville’s Business Improvement District and is owned by all of the property owners of Downtown Jacksonville, including the COJ. DVI’s mission is to build and maintain a healthy and vibrant Downtown community and to promote Downtown as an exciting place to live, work, play and visit. DVI’s board unanimously endorsed the ship museum project.
Another positive step for the museum came in early November 2012, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge experts issued their Jacksonville Report for downtown revitalization and economic growth. The ship museum project was specifically mentioned in “Recommendation 2-2: Another example is the USS Adams Naval Ship Museum initiative. Interviewees suggest it is of low cost to the City, sustainable with funded exit strategies if it did not succeed, may reuse City property that is currently under-utilized and is likely to create significant draw.”
In October, 2012, several prominent direct descendants of the Charles F. Adams family were briefed and have enthusiastically engaged in supporting the project through introductions to financial support within their personal and business relationships. In the short term, LCDR Charles F Adams, USNR traveled to Jacksonville from Tampa on very short notice to support and speak at the JHNSA Fourth Annual Gala and Silent Auction. His father, Peter Boylston Adams, is a US Army helicopter pilot veteran of the Viet Nam era who worked in Boston financial world. He and his family are now strong supporters of our effort to save this historic naval ship, since his cousin was Charles F. Adams, the namesake of the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2).