Non-profit works to bring USS Adams to Jacksonville

USS Adams could draw more veterans to downtown area

Author: Kent Justice, Weekend anchor, reporter, kjustice@wjxt.com
Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Nov 22 2013 09:48:18 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 23 2013 01:20:32 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The River City is a step closer to making some Florida history with a ship that made history for President John F. Kennedy.

Retired Navy Capt. Daniel Bean is one of the drivers for the non-profit Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association that wants a Navy Museum in Jacksonville.

"The ability to have warship downtown, in a Navy town will draw people downtown," said Bean.

At the center of the Navy Museum, the warship long promised to Jacksonville, the U.S.S. Charles F. Adams. It's the first ship Cpt. Bean ever set foot upon.

Jacksonville's downtown investment authority signed off on having the U.S.S Charles Adams docked on the River downtown Jacksonville.

Bean said the City of Jacksonville won't be offering any financial support to bring U.S.S. Adams to Jacksonville, but the ship does require a pier with the price tag of about $6 million.

The Adams could play a key role in boosting Jacksonville's economy and drawing more veterans to downtown, the hopes is that the ship would also tug on tourists to visit Jacksonville, too.

"So, we build ourselves around river, around Navy, we have success, bring people downtown and people enjoy themselves. That's what it's all about," said Bean.

The Adams was first in line for President John F. Kennedy, more than 50 years ago, during the Cuban Missile crisis. It would be the first in the state of Florida and Bean told Channel 4 he thinks it would be successful, because it accentuates the St. Johns River and the heritage of the United States Navy.

"Our studies show about 150-thousand annual visitors, over half from out of town, so we're just doing our part," said Bean. "Others need to step up, help downtown reach fullest potential."

Bean said the Destroyer will be the youngest warship on display in the country. Every other ship is World War II or older.