It Takes a Few Bricks: Bringing the USS Adams to Jacksonville

Anchored along the St. John’s River, the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) is the first naval warship transformed into a floating, state-of-the-art, interactive museum. The USS Adams Museum will complement the Liberty Hound sailor monument on the Southbank and the Veterans Memorial Arena and Veterans Memorial Wall at the stadium complex. The Charlie Deuce represents an entire class of advanced warships that served the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years during the Cold War. This national historic site will help boost tourism in the region and further stimulate the economic development of Downtown Jacksonville.

Established by the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA), the USS ADAMS Museum will showcase Jacksonville’s pride in its military heritage and inspire and educate the community by celebrating Northeast Florida’s military, maritime, and naval history. The site will serve as host to key events including Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and other military recognitions. Using the technological and historic significance of the USS Charles F. Adams, the museum will feature a hands-on, STEM based vocational experience focused on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics plus History (STEM-H) disciplines. The hands-on displays, reenactments of maritime and military history, and interactive exhibits aboard the USS ADAMS Museum will create limitless opportunities to educate youth. A partnership with Duval County Public Schools, area higher education and vocational programs will allow the students to earn course credits in in a historic environment.

The former USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) is the last surviving ship of the Adams Class of guided missile destroyers that helped revolutionize naval warfare. The Adams Class of 29 warships revolutionized naval warfare from two aspects, anti-air warfare, and anti-submarine warfare. The USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) was the namesake of and the first in a class of multimission destroyers designed and built as a guided missile warship for the United States Navy. The quarantine of Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis was the first operational mission for the Adams in October, 1962.

As the last surviving warship of this special class of guided missile destroyers on display, the USS Adams Museum will stand as a lasting memorial dedicated to the mission, memory, and men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Their service helped secure a free and safe world in which the United States stands as the symbol for other countries to emulate.

The JHNSA is in the final stages of acquiring the warship from the Navy. Once awarded, the group will take ownership of the USS Adams. The cost to build a berth, refurbish, and tow the ship from Philadelphia to Jacksonville is estimated between $3.5 and $7 million.

USS Adams Memorial Brick

Once moved from the Philadelphia Navy Yard to Rhoads Industries, the USS Adams will be placed in a dry dock for initial restoration and refurbishment in preparation for the tow to Jacksonville. The USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) is expected to arrive in Jacksonville this summer and be open for topside tours by the public by the fall. Construction is slated to begin on the parking lot and rest area. The USS ADAMS Museum has launched a Memorial Brick Campaign for the upcoming museum. Bricks will be engraved and installed in a designated memorial rest area within the USS ADAMS Museum site. All funds raised through brick sales will go directly to capital improvements of the USS ADAMS Museum.

Bricks will be installed in the designated area upon completion of the parking area. Updates on the parking lot and brick laying progress will be provided on their website and social media pages ( The JHNSA is raising funds to cover office expenses over the next year. To donate, visit or Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

About Liza Mitchell