JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The look of downtown Jacksonville is getting ready to change again.
The USS Orleck is going to move to its permanent home, but not as soon as the city had hoped.
It was a year ago this week that the USS Orleck moved downtown in front of the Hyatt Regency and there’s always been some controversy over the location.
The USS Orleck will now be moving to a pier across from the Sheriff’s office. Eventually, the area will become the museum district, also known as Shipyards West, but work is still underway.
The USS Orleck was supposed to move to its new home Friday, but that’s not happening. According to the head of the Orleck Museum Dan Bean. A volunteer group has been working on the site but now Bean said the tides Friday morning won’t work for towing the huge ship but added that everything else is ready to go at least for now.
Near the USS Orleck’s new home is the fire museum which was moved there last year but it’s not yet opened. Eventually, the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) will move to the area as well.
Over 35,000 people have toured the USS Orleck and on Wednesday afternoon there were visitors like Robert Noyes.
“I’ve been on a carrier but it’s bringing back memories walking around,” he said.
The Orleck volunteers are hoping the visitors will continue to visit at the new location, but its not going to happen right away. It could take a week or two to finish getting it ready to reopen and when it does there’s not a lot in the surrounding area to attract people.
“It’s not completely ready down there, no. The city has made promises that it’s going to extend the street down there. There will be a roundabout, not a roundabout by the curvature of the courtyard to facilitate that and that’s a year off, so do we have some concerns about accessibility yes,” Bean said.
But eventually, that could change with the opening of the New Four Seasons hotel near the stadium and other planned attractions that could happen in the next two to three years.