Development plans have been unveiled for a new National Museum of the United States Navy (NMUSN) campus in Washington, DC, which is due to open four years’ time.
The plans were revealed by Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) at an exhibition entitled ‘Future Campus Vision’ this July. Initially commissioned in 2020, the new NMUSN campus will be in the vicinity of the historic Washington Navy Yard, allowing easy access to the public.
The museum is currently housed in a former naval gun factory at the Navy Yard. The building was acquired by Admiral Arleigh Burke in 1961, and opened to the public two years later.
However, the building was not designed for long-term use as a museum. Over recent years, many items in the institution’s large collection, which dates to 1800, have been taken off display to ensure their preservation.
Currently drawing around 100,000 visitors a year, it is estimated that a new campus could see more than 1.5 million visitors annually. Tentative plans would see the building open in time for the navy’s 250th birthday on 13 October 2025.
The exhibition showcasing the new development, ‘Future Campus Vision’, includes a TV monitor that allows visitors to watch progress on the museum’s construction. It also includes a section dedicated to individual sailors throughout the navy’s history, and an exploration of the relationship between the museum and the Navy Yard.
‘The new National Museum of the US Navy will be a state-of-the-art facility devoted to telling the storied history of the Navy’s past, present, and future,’ said Albert H Konetzni Jr, a retired US Navy vice admiral and now president of the Navy Museum Development Foundation Board of Directors.
‘The centrepiece of a new, more-accessible Navy campus, the museum will become a tangible tribute to the traditions of service and sacrifice exemplified by navy sailors for more than 200 years,’ Konetzni added.
The NHHC, also headquartered at the Navy Yard, is a body responsible for the ‘preservation, analysis, and dissemination’ of US naval history, according to its website.
It is composed of 42 facilities in 13 different locations across the United States, including the Navy Department Library, ten museums, the USS Constitution repair facility and detachment, and the historic ship ex-USS Nautilus.