Charleston military museum getting new life in Citadel Mall
Charleston’s American Military Museum, which earlier this year lost its lease downtown, may live to fight another day.
Plans are in the works for the museum to relocate to West Ashley’s Citadel Mall, in 5,000 square-feet of vacant retail space.
As envisioned, the site will open in the southern wing, next to Dillard’s, across from space currently held by another attraction, the Charleston Area Model Railroad Club.
Representatives of both sides Friday called the move a win-win.
The museum, with thousands of military items and uniforms dating to the American Revolution, gets to stay in business. The mall, meanwhile, gets to fill space with a unique collection that operators hope will increase foot traffic.
“I’m excited,” said museum curator Michael Lussier.
Leigh Burnett, marketing specialist with mall manager CBL and Associates, said her office contacted the museum after hearing its lease at Aquarium Wharf, (the old Imax building) on the downtown Charleston waterfront, was not being renewed.
“We hope it will bring some nice synergy to this area,” she said.
Lease terms are still being completed.
The museum had been at the waterfront site for the past 10 years, paying a reduced rent. A new tenant is moving in, the operator said earlier.
Among the items in the collections are personal effects of soldiers, maps, weapons and other war materials from hundreds of years of U.S. warfare, up to the conflict in Afghanistan. Much of the collection has been donated.
Lussier said the mall brings several new advantages, including parking, security, promotions and access to bathrooms.
The mall also home to the Best Friend of Charleston Railway Museum, which is in the same wing.