MOSH Genesis Capital Campaign Receives $1 Million Donation from the Harden Family Foundation
Exciting news broke as the Museum of Science & History (MOSH) recently announced a substantial donation of $1 million to their Genesis capital campaign. The generous gift was made by the Harden Family Foundation, led by the esteemed M.C. “Ceree” Harden III, a well-known figure in Jacksonville’s insurance and employee benefits industry. Apart from his successful career, Harden has made a significant impact in the local business community and Northeast Florida’s philanthropic sector.
The Harden Family Foundation’s donation will be commemorated through the naming of the River Patio at MOSH’s new facility, which will be located on the Downtown Northbank. This state-of-the-art museum will not only inspire the joy of lifelong learning but also serve as a vital cultural facility for year-round activities within the sports and entertainment district.
Christian Harden, M.C. Harden III’s son, expressed his family’s pride in contributing to this meaningful project that was close to his father’s heart for over two decades. The idea of establishing a museum near the sports complex in Downtown Jacksonville originated when M.C. Harden III was on the board of directors of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. He strongly believed that museums played a critical role in fostering a thriving downtown, and his vision is finally coming to fruition with MOSH’s ambitious plans.
The MOSH Genesis $40 million capital campaign aims to relocate the museum from its current location on the Downtown Southbank to a larger building on the Northbank, close to where Hogans Creek meets the majestic St. Johns River. The new facility, designed by DLR Group and kasper architects + associates, will boast approximately 100,000 square feet across three floors, with an option for an additional 30,000-square-foot expansion.
The Harden Family Foundation’s donation is a testament to M.C. Harden III’s dedication to community service and his desire to enhance the quality of life in Jacksonville. This contribution will not only support MOSH’s goal of inspiring future generations but also honor the legacy of a man who has left an indelible mark on the city’s economic and cultural development.
Thanks to the Harden Family Foundation’s remarkable contribution, MOSH is one step closer to realizing its dream of a new facility at the Shipyards property Downtown. The project has garnered widespread support and engagement from various organizations, including Balfour Beatty and Stellar as a joint venture for construction management, Local Projects for exhibit design, and NineOaks Development for project management.
The city’s Downtown Investment Authority authorized the disposition and development of 2.5 acres of city-owned land at the Shipyards property, paving the way for the new museum’s construction. According to the legislation, the museum must commence construction by the end of 2023 and complete the project by the end of 2027.
Having operated since 1969 as the Jacksonville Children’s Museum, MOSH has now outgrown its current 77,000-square-foot facility on the Southbank. The forthcoming new museum will not only provide a more expansive space for exhibits but also contribute significantly to the city’s cultural and educational landscape.
The Harden Family Foundation’s remarkable donation is a beacon of hope for the MOSH Genesis capital campaign, propelling the museum closer to its vision of a cutting-edge facility that will inspire generations of learners. As construction moves forward, the museum’s impact on the community will undoubtedly grow, thanks to the vision and generosity of the Harden family and other supporters who recognize the significance of such cultural institutions in shaping a thriving downtown and a prosperous future for Jacksonville.