Gaining steam: Leaders show support for USS Adams Museum

Organizers push for destroyed to become fixture of Downtown Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Plans to turn a retired U.S. warship into a naval museum docked on the St Johns River could be gaining steam.

For nearly a decade, plans to bring the USS Adams to Jacksonville have been in the works. The ship still sits in Philadelphia waiting for approval to be moved to Jacksonville.

In a letter last week to Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, and U.S. Rep. John Rutherford pusing for the ship to return home, saying: "Jacksonville has the third largest concentration of Naval assets in the country, and of the top three Navy towns, it is the only City without a Naval warship museum.”

READ MORE: Letter to Secretary Spencer and Admiral Richardson

The Adams, the nation's first guided missile destroyer, was commissioned in 1960 and spent 1969 to 1990 homeported at Naval Station Mayport. A lot of people would like to the ship as a fixture in downtown Jacksonville.

Recently, some red tape got in the way of making this happen, but now things could be back on track.

“The latest involvement with Congressman Rutherford and the two state senators- it looks like we’ve gotten some more momentum behind the effort and very soon we hope to be pulling her up right here at this pier and establishing Florida’s first naval warship museum,” said Joe Snowberger, CEO of the USS Adams Museum.

READ MORE: USS Adams one step closer to Jacksonville
SEE INSIDE: Photo tour of USS Adams

The Downtown Investment Authority has again approved the move to the Northbank for the USS Adams, but there are still a few things left before the move is official, including approval by City Council. 
Once that happens, the ship can be towed to Jacksonville and the transformation can begin.

“We will take a priority list and work as soon as we can to get her opal, get the main deck open, get the scouts posting compartment open. All of the work will take place right here at this pier as we move along,” said Snowberger.

The USS Adams proposal is now headed to a few City Council committees for approval.If it passes all of those, it could be headed to the full council later this year.

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United States government photo of USS Adams on patrol in the 1960s.