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New museum to honor Coasties’ heroics

Apr. 5, 2013 - 01:32PM   |  
Architect's rendering of the National Coast Guard Museum, which will be housed in New London, Conn.
Architect's rendering of the National Coast Guard Museum, which will be housed in New London, Conn. (Gauchat / Santos)
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The Marine Corps, the Air Force and the Navy each have one. The Army is building one. And finally, the Coast Guard will get one, too.

A national museum for the Coast Guard is slated for New London, Conn., Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has announced, and the city is donating downtown waterfront real estate.

“The strong connection and ties between the city of New London and the Coast Guard run deep,” Finizio said. “With the building of the National Coast Guard Museum, I think it will be clear to all that New London is the home of the United States Coast Guard.”

Finizio said the museum will be about 54,000 square feet and cost about $100 million.

Money will come from fund-raising by the National Coast Guard Museum Association board, the mayor said, adding that that the state will fund $20 million. Part of the project includes a new ferry terminal, which will be paid for by Cross Sound Ferry, a New London company.

Commandant Adm. Bob Papp said the museum will “serve both as a valued Coast Guard institution and a national treasure that highlights the historical record of the heroic exploits of the men and women of the Coast Guard and its forebears.”

“It will showcase the thousands of artifacts and documents of the Coast Guard’s deep and illustrious history and will serve as a repository of critical Coast Guard historical records for scholarly research,” Papp said in a statement.

New London is the home of the Coast Guard Academy and the Coast Guard’s barque Eagle, the service’s tall ship. The city of New London donated the modern site of the academy to the Coast Guard in 1932.

Finizio said the city estimates 250,000 to a million people a year will visit the museum when it opens. The mayor’s office expects construction to begin in one to two years and the museum to be done in less than four.

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