Mobile’s $60 million maritime museum closed after first year

The mayor of Mobile has shut down the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Press-Register reports the 90,000-square-foot vessel-shaped museum — costing more than $60 million — was only open for 13 months before Mayor Sandy Stimpson pulled the plug last week.

Stimpson’s administration wants the museum to succeed, even if it’s not exactly a museum any longer.

Among possibilities that could be explored: Giving over a slice of the space for an Amtrak station to service a possible return of passenger rail along the Gulf Coast, and making the museum a seasonal venue for Mardi Gras balls.

City taxpayers are on the hook for a $2.2 million annual bond payment. And the bill escalates to nearly $3 million when utilities get factored in.