Drawings show how Coast Guard Museum would fit in

New London - The Board of Directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association released new, and more detailed, renderings of the National Coast Guard Museum on Monday.

"This design engages the museum structure with the New London waterfront site and includes the (U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle) as an integral part of the Coast Guard Museum experience," read a statement from James J. Coleman Jr., chairman of the board.

While the previous renderings were more conceptual, the new renderings show how the museum will impact, and take advantage, of its location on the New London waterfront, said Pamela Fink, a spokeswoman with Quinn & Hary/Regan Communications, the firm handling public relations for the museum. Fink said that it is just a coincidence that the renderings are being released on Election Day.

The future site of the museum is on city land at the north end of Waterfront Park across the railroad tracks from Union Station.

The new renderings show a four-story, 54,000-square-foot building complete with a spacious interior that will house interactive exhibits, event space and lecture rooms, a reception area with a gift shop, café and direct access to the Eagle. The museum will incorporate a pier for Eagle. The south wing of the museum will feature large windows that will give visitors wide-ranging views of the Thames River.

This second phase of the design process adds aircraft exhibits on the rooftop deck of the building, as well as outdoor exhibit space in Waterfront Park and adjacent docks, according to the press release about the new renderings.

Boston-based firm Payette, which was recently named to the Architect 50 by Architect Magazine, designed the physical building concepts.

The inside of the museum is also beginning to come to life. The board of directors approved Patrick Gallagher and Associates, a museum planning and design firm based in Washington, D.C., to do the first phase of interior planning. Some of the firm's most notable work includes the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, the Gettysburg Museum in Pennsylvania, and the International Spy Museum and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The firm has done work for the Smithsonian Institution.

"The interactive, multimedia exhibits will highlight the dedication and heroism of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard through its 225-year history," according to the press release.

The museum is set to open in 2018 if it can raise $50 million in private donations to match the $50 million in government grants it has obtained, according to the press release. The association announced on its website in June that it reached its first $1 million in fundraising.

The museum designs can be found at www.CoastGuardMuseum.org.

j.bergman@theday.com

Twitter: JuliaSBergman

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