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What prompted New Orleans Billionaire, James Coleman Jr, to purchase a train station in New London, Connecticut in December 2014?

To Coleman, chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, the historic Union Station designed by famed architect, Henry Hobson Richardson, is more than just a regional transportation hub – it is soon to be the front door to America’s future National Coast Guard Museum.

Since 1991, there has been a committee of dedicated volunteers working to honor the men and women of the United States Coast Guard by bringing a museum to life.  While every branch of the military has several national museums, the United Coast Guard has none!NCGMA_Logo_web

Expected to open in 2018, the new National Coast Guard Museum will include permanent and revolving multi-media exhibits that will tell compelling stories of the Coast Guard’s past, present, and future. The museum will utilize interactive technology to showcase the Coast Guard’s critical role and mission in maritime security, safety, protection of natural resources, and national defense.

The goal is to raise a total of $100 million to build the museum. To date, total corporate and government pledges and donations exceed $24 million.

Acquiring Union Station and raising significant funds were two major steps in continuing the momentum of the future National Coast Guard Museum—and that’s not all the Association accomplished last year.

The National Coast Guard Museum came to life last May when the City of New London deeded a parcel of waterfront land to the United States Coast Guard at the ceremonial groundbreaking. Securing this land as the home of the only national museum dedicated to the U.S. Coast Guard was the first step in making this dream a reality.

Shortly after this event, internationally-renowned architectural firm, PAYETTE, was contracted to build the museum. PAYETTE’s impressive portfolio of work includes buildings for Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University, and many more throughout the world.

Museum planning and design has been contracted to Gallagher & Associates. They are known nationally for their exhibit work for the National World War II Museum, the National Museum of the United States Navy, and the National Museum of the United States Army.

Admiral Robert Papp, Jr. USCG (Ret.), the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and member of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. shared his vision for both the National Coast Guard Museum and a revitalized New London at a recent event and asked the crowd to get, “All Aboard!” For more information about the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. or to make a donation to the important project visit www.coastguardmuseum.org.


 -Pamela Fink

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