Construction Set to Begin on U.S. Coast Guard's Long-Awaited Museum

keel signing
A girder laid out for a "keel-signing" event for the future museum in New London (USCG)

Published Aug 22, 2022 10:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan presided over a "keel-laying ceremony" for the service's first national museum. The USCG is the oldest continuous armed service in the United States - the Navy and Army were disbanded for a few years after the Revolutionary War - but despite its long past, it is the only historic service without a museum for its history. 

That deficit is about to be corrected at long last, thanks to a $50 million set-aside in the FY2022 budget for construction of a new museum in New London, Connecticut. (New London is the home of the Coast Guard Academy and one of the service's original home ports.) The appropriation took the total federal commitment to the new museum to $70 million, and construction is set to begin soon. 

“This museum will preserve and honor the heritage, traditions, and history of the U.S. Coast Guard – and the service of the defenders of the nation and enforcers of the seas,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). “As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, I strongly believe that just as their service never wavers, our support of the U.S. Coast Guard and all of our armed forces must be just as resolute and unwavering."

The Coast Guard Museum will be organized around the themes of security, safety and stewardship, reflecting the service's wide variety missions - from drug-busting to SAR to marine safety inspections.

"For those of us who've served in the Coast Guard  . . . they know the stories of our long history. But we haven't had the place to tell those stories to the American public that we serve, and arguably we haven't had a place to honor those stories for ourselves," said Adm. Fagan. "The museum is going to be an incredible asset. It will enable us to tell our stories in ways that we've never been able to do before."