City Council voted 16-1 Wednesday night in support of a plan to dock the USS Charles F. Adams at the Shipyards property on downtown's Northbank, with the goal of turning it into a naval museum.
The council approved Jacksonville Historic Ship Association's 10-year license agreement with two five-year renewal options. In addition to moving the ship to Jacksonville and mooring it along a pier at the Shipyards property, the association also would construct, operate and maintain a museum at the site.
The Adams is the last surviving ship of Cold War-era guided missile destroyers. It's first mission was to take part in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Adams spent 21 of its 30 years in service stationed at Mayport Naval Station, which inspired the association’s motto “Bring home the Adams.”
Restoration of the destroyer will begin before it leaves the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where it has been berthed since 1990. The exterior refurbishment will be complete when it’s towed into the St. Johns River, which could happen as early as next spring, said Joe Snowberger, commodore and CEO of the association.
Snowberger said the museum would be ready to open to the public about 90 days after the Adams arrives in Jacksonville.