Atlanta Pirates and Wenches Guild Message Board › Downtown Atlanta could get pirate museum
Local businessman Richard Lea said he hopes to construct a facility dedicated to pirates at the old Good Samaritan Health Center on Ivan Allen Boulevard near the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park.
The attraction, called “Pirate World,” would include exhibits, trunks full of treasure and a recreated ship deck, complete with cannons and a steering wheel that visitors can turn to navigate the vessel through a virtual storm.
“Kids can walk around the surface of it and get their pictures taken,” Lea said.
If the design allows, it also might include a restaurant — probably barbecue — to offer inexpensive meals downtown.
Lea, who has been diving and collecting artifacts from the sea since his early teens, initially considered showing his collection as part of the Georgia Aquarium’s temporary exhibit space, but decided a dedicated building would be better.
If the facility is constructed — Lea would like to begin greeting guests sometime near the 2011 opening of the aquarium’s dolphin exhibit – it will be another boost to the city’s efforts to become a tourist destination.
Last month, city leaders revealed that the College Football Hall of Fame is moving from South Bend, Ind., to Atlanta. The hall, which officials hope to locate around Centennial Olympic Park, will join the aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the National Museum of Patriotism, Inside CNN and Imagine It, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta as the city’s destination ground zero.
Other attractions in the works for Centennial include the Center for Human and Civil Rights and a national health museum.
Lauren Jarrell, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, said most cities are lucky to get one new attraction, much less two or three.
“Something like this is another coup for us to put in our bag of tricks to attract more people to Atlanta,” she said.
“Pirate World” might be unique to Atlanta, but it would join several other facilities, national and international, dedicated to the parakeet-toting, peg-legged and patch-wearing anti-heroes of the oceans. Pirate museums operate in Massachusetts, North Carolina and Florida, including two in Key West.
But none of them is located in an area that has critical mass like that which Atlanta is building around Centennial Olympic Park. He believes his attraction will better feed off the millions that come to the aquarium and the Coke museum annually, not to mention conventioneers in town at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Lea said it will cost more than $1 million to bring the building up to code and anywhere from $250,000 to $750,000 to build out the ship.
“It will depend on what we decide to do and what we build it out of,” he said of the ship.
He hopes to have architectural work, including interior design, in the next month or so and go to the city to get the backing of leaders.
“If the city tells me for whatever reason they don’t want this, then I’ll find another use for the building,” he said. “But I think they’ll be supportive.”
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|Calico Ann R.||
Just heard about this from a friend of mine. I think it is great!