Patriots Point unveils plans for $100 million Medal of Honor Museum

Artists rendering of the proposed new Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point.

Calling it a game-changer, Patriots Point unveiled an ambitious plan Wednesday to build a $100 million Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.

The new museum would sit on about 10-12 acres at the entrance to Patriots Point and would require moving Patriots Point Road near the Cold War Submarine Memorial.

Patriots Point would not pay for the museum, a sweeping, multi-level architectural venue that would overlook Charleston Harbor. Instead, a new foundation will be formed to raise $3 million to $5 million in seed money to operate a national fundraising campaign to help pay for the new facility.

“Today is a great day,” Patriots Point Development Authority Chairman Ray Chandler said. “The board has approved a letter of understanding with the National Medal of Honor Society for a landside museum to honor the highest heroes in the country. It will bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the community.”

The Medal of Honor Museum currently exists on the World War II-era aircraft carrier Yorktown, the centerpiece attraction at Patriots Point. The site could be used for traveling exhibits once its moved to the new museum, Patriots Point Director Mac Burdette said.

The museum announcement is expected to be a catalyst for others seeking to invest in the remaining 24 acres surrounding the ticket office at the naval and maritime museum.

Patriots Point hopes to develop some of its property to raise money to pay for expensive ship repairs. Two studies next year will determine the extent of work needed for the Yorktown.

Chandler also announced that the state agency, which funds its $10 million budget almost entirely from tourists and leased-property revenues, will present the state with a plan within three or so months to pay back the remainder of the $9.2 million Patriots Point borrowed to refurbish the destroyer Laffey to keep it from sinking in the harbor.

Read more in Thursday’s editions of The Post and Courier.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.