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Coast Guard museum set for New London waterfront

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April 5, 2013 02:35 PM EST | AP

NEW LONDON, Conn. — A museum dedicated to the history of the U.S. Coast Guard will be built on the waterfront of New London, officials announced Friday in the southeastern Connecticut city that has ties to the maritime service dating back more than two centuries.

The 50,000-square-foot museum, which will be located adjacent to a new high-speed ferry terminal, is expected to cost $80 million to $100 million. The National Coast Guard Museum Association has been raising money for the project, and the state has agreed to contribute $20 million.

The commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., said in comments reported by The Day of New London ( that he hopes the riverfront museum helps local businesses to thrive.

"The city perhaps might someday see a renaissance of sorts," he said at the ceremony at a high school to reveal the location and plans for the museum.

The museum will help attract visitors from around the world, speakers including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.

"This is a `wow' day for the state of Connecticut," Blumenthal said.

New London is also home to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and Papp said one of the 10 cutters that George Washington authorized in 1790 to enforce federal tariff and trade laws was built and based in New London. The vessels were used by the Revenue Cutter Service, which was one of several agencies that were combined into the Coast Guard.

Papp said the museum will be an attraction addition to the waterfront.

"As people are going to northern New England on the train, and as they go by and look out, they'll say, `Hey, National Coast Guard Museum, it might be neat to come back here and visit that place,'" he said. "There will be thousands of people that will be going by that museum every day."