Saturday, March 9, 2002
Of The Post and Courier Staff

     Mount Pleasant officials contend that it is literally Patriot's
Point's mission to take care of the Hunley.
     Part of the town's argument for why it should get the
Confederate sub is that the Patriot's Point Naval Museum is the
state's premier facility for maritime heritage and that it has the
experience needed to make the Hunley a successful tourist attraction.
     The town, which has put on the most intense lobbying effort to
secure the sub, provided the fewest details of what a museum for the
Hunley would look like on Patriot's Point. The Hunley Commission did
not require detailed building plans.
     What Patriot's Point provided was a map that shows the footprint
of a building that might rise up five or six stories to provide a
good view of the harbor and the Old Village, where the Hunley's crew
stayed during the winter of 1863-64.
     David Burnette, executive director of Patriot's Point, says the
building might be built on top of the current pavilion (where the
gift shop is located now), or farther back on the 35-acre site. That,
he said, is up to the Hunley Commission.
     The plans Mount Pleasant outlined suggest that a fountain plaza
with a bronze statue of Lt. George E. Dixon might sit at the head of
the new Patriot's Point boulevard leading to the museum. A parade
ground would serve as a large staging area for events.
     The Hunley would be situated in the building in such a way to
allow people to see it from various angles. The museum itself could
be 40,000-square-feet - the Hunley Commission's minimum - or up to
60,000-square feet. The site, Burnette says, would allow for
     A reproduction of the Hunley would be docked alongside the other
ships at the naval museum.
     Burnette said the Hunley Museum would be a separate attraction
from the Yorktown with a separate admission price, but there would be
a joint ticket cheaper than buying them individually.
     Mount Pleasant officials also touted security for the site -
needed for Dixon's closely guarded gold coin - and 850 free parking
     The town of Mount Pleasant is putting up $7 million in local
taxes toward the project.

     Contact Brian Hicks at 937-5561 or

Used with permission of The Post and Courier and Charleston.Net



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