Coming Soon: USS Cincinnati Cold War Memorial and Peace Pavilion

After more than two decades in the making, a remarkable project is about to take shape. Get ready to be immersed in the rich history of the Cold War era as the USS Cincinnati Cold War Memorial & Peace Pavilion gets set to open its doors at West Chester’s Voice of America MetroPark!

Imagine a splash pad located at the bow, a periscope stand where little ones can get a taste of what it’s like to peer through submarine periscopes, a viewing pier for all to enjoy, comfortable seating beneath the hull to truly enhance the overall experience and more.

Brought to you by the Cincinnati Navy League, this monumental memorial is expected to make its grand debut in the spring of 2025. And trust us, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. With the 125th anniversary of U.S. Navy submarines, the 250th anniversary of the United States Navy, and the 250th anniversary of our country all converging in the coming years, there’s a wave of patriotism waiting to be surfed. Navy veteran Joseph Japp, the visionary behind this incredible project, hopes to capture the spirit of this momentous occasion.

Let’s take a step back and appreciate the centerpiece of the memorial — the conning tower of the USS Cincinnati. This Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine was commissioned back in 1978 and served until its decommissioning in 1996. In 2013, the Navy entrusted its revered conning tower to become the highlight of this long-anticipated memorial.

While the original plan was to situate the memorial along the Ohio River on Cincinnati’s central riverfront, it has found its new home at VOA Park, near the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting. The design of the memorial is no ordinary feat, aiming to recreate the experience of walking through a dry dock and encountering the imposing presence of a real submarine.

Prepare to be awestruck by the sheer size of this memorial. Stretching a whopping 360 feet in length, equivalent to the distance between goalposts on a football field, and reaching a towering height of five stories from the bottom of the keel to the top of the sail, it promises an immersive experience like no other. And not to forget, the hull boasts an impressive diameter of approximately 33 feet. The memorial incorporates around 100 tons of material from the original submarine, including the towering 17-foot-tall and 13-foot-wide rudder, as well as the iconic “Big Red Machine” backup diesel engine, paying homage to the legendary Reds baseball team lineup from the ’70s.

Education takes center stage in the memorial’s mission. The Navy League aims to integrate a robust educational component with a focus on history and STEM elements specifically tailored for children. With numerous young visitors expected, especially during tournament seasons when soccer fields neighboring the memorial are bustling, the goal is to captivate and inspire them to explore the fascinating world of naval history, science, technology, engineering, and math.

We can’t wait for this remarkable memorial to be unveiled and add another layer of richness to our beloved city. Stay tuned for more updates as construction gets underway and mark your calendars for the spring of 2025 — a moment in history you won’t want to miss!

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