- Courtesy of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
If all goes according to plan, the Medal of Honor Museum will get a larger, permanent home at Patriots Point. Currently, the museum resides inside the decommissioned World War II aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown and features multimedia presentations on medal recipients from the Civil War to the present.
The Patriots Point Development Authority announced Wednesday that a standalone museum is in the works for a site on dry land near the Yorktown. Estimated price tag? Over $100 million.
Under an agreement, the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation would sign a lease with the PPDA and be responsible for raising the money to design, build, and operate the museum. Both organizations are asking Congress to designate the site as the National Medal of Honor Museum.
“We fully expect that this project will serve as a catalyst for additional investments at Patriots Point,” said PPDA Chairman Ray Chandler in a press release. “This will include both cultural and appropriate commercial and hospitality uses of the highest quality.”
The press release also announced that the museum would be “supported by a multi-million-dollar hospitality and consumer component,” but Patriots Point spokesperson Ashley Smith said no companies had announced plans to build near the site yet. “The analogy that our director has used is if you’re going to build a shopping center, for example — which we’re not — this will be like the Neiman Marcus serving as the anchor to bring the other types of consumer things there,” Smith said. “The hope is that the Medal of Honor Museum will serve as the anchor and that we’ll have additional components that will include a hotel and a conference center, and it will really make it toward a national destination rather than just an attraction here.”
In mockups, the museum building has leaf-shaped sections reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House and glass walls facing the Cooper River. But don’t get too attached to the design — Smith says the Museum Foundation’s first orders of business will be raising $3 to $5 million, putting together fundraising staff, and hiring someone to get to work on a design.