MOSH plans a 100,000-square-foot museum on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville.MOSH plans a 100,000-square-foot museum on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville.
MOSH plans a 100,000-square-foot museum on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville.

Davis family donates $1.5 million for new MOSH museum

Published on March 7, 2024 at 11:38 am

The Davis family has donated $1.5 million to the campaign to build a new Museum of Science & History on the Northbank of the St. Johns River.

The donations include $1 million from James E. and A. Dano Davis Family Charities and $500,000 from Jill and Jed Davis. The combined gifts will be honored through the naming of the front lobby of the new museum, MOSH said in a news release Wednesday.

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Jill Davis is vice chair of the MOSH board of trustees and is also the chair of the MOSH capital campaign, known as MOSH Genesis.

MOSH plans to build a 100,000-square-foot, three story musem in the Shipyards area of the Northbank in Downtown Jacksonville. The museum has operated at 1025 Museum Circle on the Southbank since 1969. MOSH says it has outgrown the 77,000-square-foot quarters.

“As a multigeneration Jacksonville family, we take pride in supporting organizations that elevate the quality of life for all families in Northeast Florida,” Jed Davis, president and CEO of the Davis Family Office, said in the news release. “A project as impactful and far-reaching as this one requires support from across the philanthropic community — including personal contributions, family charities and corporate leaders. We are proud to align our family’s name with this important cultural institution and look forward to remaining engaged in its future growth and success.”

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RELATED: MOSH releases new views of its planned Northbank museum

Maureen Mercho, chief development officer of MOSH, said: “Working side by side with Jill this past year on the MOSH Genesis capital campaign, I am inspired by her personal dedication to bringing a world-class museum to Northeast Florida. … By supporting this capital campaign, the Davis family is breaking down barriers to lifelong learning. We are grateful to count the Davises among the many Jacksonville families who are joining us in bringing this vision to life.”

City Council in April granted MOSH a $1-per-year lease agreement to build on 2.5 acres of city-owned land known as Lot X. MOSH missed its initial deadline to raise $40 million in private funds for the museum, but the city in late December extended the fundraising deadline until the end of June.

MOSH’s announcement Tuesday did not say how much money the campaign has raised.

The Davis family’s philanthropic efforts span multiple generations, primarily focused on health care projects, at-risk youth and advancing local education opportunities. These gifts include the Mayo Clinic, The Mary Lou Davis Endowment for Women’s Heart Initiative at Ascension St. Vincent’s, the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University, The Mary Lou Davis Family Life Center at Riverside Presbyterian Day School, the Jacksonville Zoo and Seamark Ranch.


author image Senior News Director

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. 

author image Senior News Director

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. 


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