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MOSH announces $1 million donation for new museum

Published on April 6, 2023 at 4:13 pm

The Neviaser Foundation has donated $1 million to the MOSH Genesis capital campaign to build a new Museum of Science & History on the Northbank of the St. Johns River.

Nancy Neviaser Baker and her husband, Robert Baker, made the donation to honor memories at MOSH when their daughter Jennifer was young, MOSH said Thursday in a news release. The donation will pave the way for future generations, MOSH said.

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“The Neviaser family’s experiences at MOSH symbolize what makes a museum like ours so important to the community, and we are honored to have their support as we plan for the future,” Bruce Fafard, CEO of MOSH said in the news release. “This generous donation will help us bring more complex, modern exhibits to Northeast Florida.”

MOSH will recognize the donation by naming the small traveling exhibition space, which will host a rotating schedule of exhibits in the new museum.

MOSH has operated in its current location on the Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville since 1969 but has outgrown its 77,000-square-foot facility. Plans for the new Museum comprise approximately 100,000 square feet across three floors, with the option to build a future expansion of an additional 30,000 square feet, MOSH said.

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Images of the new design mimic the flow of the St. Johns River rising to two stories of other exhibits that detail the area’s history, arts and culture.

The Downtown Investment Authority Board approved the allocation of 2.5 acres for the new museum near the Shipyards along East Bay Street, along with 4.7 acres for a riverwalk and park space. The site is just east of the Jacksonville Fire Museum and Pier 1, the home of the USS Orleck naval ship museum.

Legislation for development of the property, ground lease of the land, design of the park and the Riverwalk and other agreements are under review by the Jacksonville City Council.