December 13, 2013

Fort Monroe Master Plan Approved; National Treasure Now Set for Revitalization

Sunrise over Fort Monroe. Credit: OkiGator, Flickr
The sun beams down on Fort Monroe.

We are very pleased to report that Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell has approved the Fort Monroe Authority’s master plan for the restoration and revitalization of historic Fort Monroe, one of our National Treasures.

The long-awaited master plan, which provides a path forward for the preservation-based reuse of this former U.S. Army post, was prepared by Sasaki Associates. When implemented, the Fort Monroe master plan will use all of the fortress’s 180 historic structures, develop a new public park which complements the National Park Service’s Fort Monroe National Monument, and create new opportunities to tell the full stories of Fort Monroe’s unique U.S. military and African-American history.

We believe the master plan strikes a reasonable balance of preservation of historic resources and construction of new buildings.

The National Trust has been actively involved with historic preservation planning for this National Treasure since 2005, when the Army decided to vacate Fort Monroe. With the support of our members and allies, we have helped to protect Fort Monroe by contributing to the fort’s programmatic agreement, design standards for treatment of historic properties and for construction of new buildings, Sasaki’s land-use master plan, and a protocol for continuing public involvement.

Fort Monroe flagpole. Credit: Serithian, Flickr
The flagpole at Fort Monroe

Now, the National Trust will turn its attention to the National Park Service’s Foundation Document, which will guide all future management and planning decisions for the National Monument. Of particular interest to the National Trust is the Park Service’s planning for interpretation of African-American heritage at Fort Monroe.

The National Trust thanks Governor McDonnell for approving the Fort Monroe master plan. We are grateful for the good work of the Fort Monroe Authority, Sasaki Associates, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources (especially Kathleen Kilpatrick, longtime State Historic Preservation Officer and Fort Monroe champion), as well as Preservation Virginia and a long list of other public-interest organizations at the local, state, and national levels which have advocated for the preservation of Fort Monroe.

And of course, we thank you for all your petitions, donations, and support! Together, we’ll keep our National Treasures moving forward.

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