A Bold New Welcome to “Old Ironsides” and the Navy Yard
The story of the exciting future home of the USS Constitution Museum began with a memorable meeting in the Captain’s Cabin of America’s Ship of State in June 2018. There, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer and the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke were joined by Museum Board of Trustees Chair Paul E. George and President & CEO Anne Grimes Rand, plus CDR Nate Schick and NPS Superintendent Michael Creasey, to talk about visitor experience strategy. The secretaries returned in October 2018 to sign a memorandum of intent to create a landmark new Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Experience. A focused period of dreaming and planning together ensued.
In 2021, the plans for a New Museum have continued to progress. Our vision is to create a world-class visitor experience for USS Constitution, America’s Ship of State. A centerpiece of this plan is the construction of a new Gateway Center, which will stand adjacent to USS Constitution and house a new USS Constitution Museum, National Park Visitor’s Center, and security checkpoint for the Ship.
For the USS Constitution Museum, this represents a transformational opportunity to create a purpose-built facility with a truly integrated Museum + Ship experience. A facility built to ensure climate resilience is a strategic move to ensure that the Museum both survives and thrives for decades to come. The new facility will feature modern museum standards for climate control and accessibility, and will enable the Museum to provide more educational programming to students, and rotating exhibits and public programs. The Museum will fully execute its recently expanded mission “to engage all ages in the stories of Old Ironsides to spark excitement about maritime heritage, naval service and the American experience.”
The Museum, NPS and U.S. Navy have collaborated with the NPS architect to develop schematic drawings for the New Museum, which are expected to be available in the fall of 2022. This is a five-year building project with the goal of expanding our exhibit space, creating more capacity for our award-winning education programs, and serving as a hub of community connection between civilians and military veterans.
We are in the preliminary phase of a $30 million fundraising campaign for the new building and are gathering momentum. In 2021, a $75,000 gift from the A.O. Wilson Foundation kicked off our planning cycle, and the year concluded with a generous $1,000,000 gift from the Liberty Mutual Foundation in support of the New Museum. Individual supporters continue to add to our momentum.
If you would like to learn more about the New USS Constitution Museum, please feel free to contact:
Together, we can bring the USS Constitution Museum to even greater levels of inspiration and impact.
Special Thanks To Our Charlestown Navy Yard Partners
We collaborate closely with our partners to imagine exciting new ways to activate the Navy Yard. For more than 40 years we have worked together to educate, engage, and empower all who visit. Thank you to the U.S. Navy, National Park Service, and Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston; our partnership has never been stronger!
“Beautiful and memorable experience! Both for kids and adults. Many educational games make it fun to learn about US history. It’s a must see place to visit while being in Boston!”
– Paulina, Google Review in May 2021