Plan To Bring USS Orleck To Downtown Jacksonville Going Before DIA

Jan 10, 2020

A decade-long effort to bring a retired Navy warship to Downtown Jacksonville to serve as a floating museum may finally be paying off.

The plan nearly fell through a year ago when the Navy took back its offer of the USS Charles Adams.

Daniel Bean, president of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, said shortly after losing the Adams, a naval museum in Lake Charles, Louisiana offered up its ship: the USS Orleck.

The USS Orleck
Credit USS Orleck Museum

The goal, Bean said, is to dock the Orleck close to the half-finished Berkman 2 high rise on the Northbank.

This now outdated rendering shows the approximate location of where the USS Orleck would be docked. The rendering illustrates plans that called for the USS Adams to come to Jacksonville and for the never-completed Berkman 2 to become a resort. The development company has withdrawn the proposal depicted in this illustration.
Credit BARRINGTON DEVELOPMENT

“The USS Orleck is a WWII destroyer. It’s one of the last destroyers built during that era. It spent most of its time during Vietnam - off the coast of Vietnam,” Bean told WJCT News.

Bean said Wednesday, the Downtown Investment Authority will decide whether to let the project proceed. He’s confident it will be approved.

“Jacksonville’s the third largest Navy city in America and it would be the only Navy warship on display in the state of Florida.” 

The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association has lined up about $1.2 million in loans and donations for the USS Orleck, with the state agreeing to kick in $1 million, according to Bean.

If the DIA agrees, the Jacksonville City Council will have the final say.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.

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