Plans to build a new National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Conn., will move forward.
The first such museum seeks to immortalize and honor the commitment, accomplishments and sacrifices of Coast Guard men and women.
The National Coast Guard Museum Association said Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed an agreement with Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp, New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio and association chairman James Coleman to build the museum.
“Signing this agreement is a significant milestone in bringing this world-class museum to life,” Papp said in a statement. “We are one major step closer to walking through the doors of an iconic museum that will honor our Coast Guard and the rich maritime heritage of the state of Connecticut and city of New London.”
Plans include a four-story, 54,300-square-foot building with four floors of interactive exhibits, event space and lecture rooms, as well as a reception area with a gift shop and café.
Permanent and revolving multimedia exhibits will tell compelling stories of the Coast Guard’s past, present and future, evoking the role of the service in maritime security, safety, the protection of natural resources and national defense.
Plans also anticipate docking the Coast Guard tall ship Barque Eagle at an adjacent pier as an additional attraction.
A pedestrian overpass across railroad tracks will connect the museum with the local ferry terminal and train station, helping to usher visitors worldwide as they come to experience the first national museum dedicated to the history of the Coast Guard.
The museum will be built along the city’s historic waterfront district, adjacent to the train station and ferry terminals.
The agreement paves the way for the state to provide $20 million for development and construction of the museum. In part, the money will support the construction of a proposed pedestrian bridge.
In addition, the state will help coordinate, support and advise on ancillary work associated with the project, including property purchases, feasibility studies, traffic redesigns, rail transportation concerns, parking needs assessments and other components.
“The signing of this MOA is a significant step in our efforts to construct Connecticut’s newest national landmark — one that represents our state’s rich maritime heritage and celebrates the important role the U.S. Coast Guard has played throughout our country’s history. Once completed, the National Coast Guard Museum will also bring hundreds of thousands of visitors a year to our state, in turn, driving regional tourism and economic development,” Malloy said in a statement.
“Reaching this milestone was a result of numerous different parties collaborating and pooling resources, and I look forward to continue to working together with our fellow stakeholders to get the ball rolling on this worthy project.”