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U.S. Navy Plans To Build New $450M Museum In D.C.

A rendering of the new National Museum of the U.S. Navy.

The nation's capital could soon welcome another major new museum in the area around the Washington Navy Yard. 

The Navy announced Tuesday it plans to build a new National Museum of the U.S. Navy, and it aims to break ground in 2023. The project is expected to cost $450M, The Washington Post reported

The location for the new museum hasn't been finalized, but the Navy said it hopes to build it in the area around the Navy Yard. It will replace a museum that opened in 1963 and sits inside the Navy Yard's security perimeter. 

By building it outside of the secure facility, the Navy says it will provide the public with better access to the museum. It says access to the museum will be free to all visitors. 

The campus-style museum will feature historic naval artifacts, interactive displays and theater presentations. The Navy says it will also highlight the traditions of its communities and serve as a cultural and ceremonial center for those who have served in the military branch. 

The Navy says it plans to work with the District and other stakeholders on environmental studies, legislative actions and negotiations on a land deal for the new museum. It plans to spend at least two years in the pre-construction, design and planning phase, then break ground in 2023 and open around 2025.

The Washington Navy Yard, a hub of military shipbuilding and naval operations starting in 1799, today employs roughly 16,000 people. When the government decommissioned large industrial buildings and put the land out to bid, it helped spark the development wave in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood over the last decade, led by Forest City, which was bought by Brookfield.

In August, construction began on a new $40M archival complex in the Navy Yard where the military branch will store historic artifacts. 

The new National Museum of the U.S. Navy would be the latest in a series of museums to open in the District in recent years. The Museum of the Bible opened in 2017, the National Law Enforcement Museum opened in 2018 and the International Spy Museum opened last year.