The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., has announced the completion of a new Master Plan, which will create increased space for CBMM’s core museum offerings—including exhibitions, education, and Shipyard. CBMM’s Master Plan process began in mid-2017, under the leadership of President Kristen Greenaway.
“CBMM’s Master Plan is a vision for CBMM’s campus for the next 20 years, and is designed to greatly enhance the guest experience,” said Greenaway. “The Master Plan will support CBMM’s mission and world-class maritime museum status by enabling CBMM to offer new and expanded programming.”
Through a competitive RFP, museum and education building specialist Ann Beha Architects of Boston, Mass., was chosen to develop CBMM’s Master Plan in July 2017. The process began with a series of visioning sessions, with input gathered from members of the community, CBMM’s Board of Governors and Friends Board, staff, and volunteers.
The scope of the plan is broad, addressing all facets of the physical campus, including new and re-oriented buildings, wayfinding, guest accessibility and comforts, and prioritizing CBMM’s natural, waterfront environment.
Phase I of the Master Plan consists of the construction of a new building for changing exhibitions, a long-term waterfowling exhibition, CBMM’s library and archives, and landscaping upgrades to Navy Point. The new facility will replace CBMM’s current Bay History and Waterfowling exhibition buildings, with the buildings’ artifacts to be relocated; demolition of the buildings is anticipated to begin in spring 2019. The new library and exhibition building is anticipated to open in 2020.
“This new facility offers a higher standard of climate control than we have anywhere, other than in our collections facility,” continued Greenaway. “It will also move our exhibitions and archival collections above the flood plain. Currently, both our Waterfowling and Bay History buildings are extremely vulnerable to flooding from storm surge events.”
CBMM’s Master Plan includes raising the grade of new buildings and walkways above regulated limits in anticipation of long-term needs. Other proposed changes include enhancements to the Navy Point lawn, and relocation of the Tolchester Beach Bandstand and Point Lookout Bell Tower to other locations within CBMM’s campus.
“After the investigation of numerous options and alternatives, a very thoughtful and exciting campus vision has emerged—one that ticks all of the Master Plan objectives boxes,” commented CBMM Board of Governors Chair Diane Staley. “Still, there’s much work to be done before shovels touch earth.”
Three phases make up the Master Plan, with the scope and timeline expected to be six to eight years, contingent upon funding. Funding sources are planned to come from individual donations and naming opportunities, grants, and operations. Phases II and Phase III will focus on further expanding CBMM’s education and Shipyard capabilities.
The public is invited to a Community Forum on Tuesday, June 19, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, where CBMM will host a community conversation and share more information about the Master Plan.
Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. To learn more about the Master Plan, visit cbmm.org/masterplan.