Monday, May 19, 2014
Fort Monroe (5/18/2014)
We visited Fort Monroe this weekend for another concert by the Hampton Roads Philharmonic. We had a nice time and the music was excellent like last time. After the concert we took a walk through the fort, which is now a National Monument. This was our first walk through the area and you could feel the history of the place. The thick walls, the moat, and the old buildings are amazing. Much different to what is outside the fort, which is nice as well. Particularly impressive were the old live oaks; I expect some of them might have been there since the civil war.
One issue I found was that at least one building appears to be boarded up, because of what I expect is the dismal structural shape it is in. I hope there will be money to rehab this building and actually rehab the facility. We could see some decay all over the place; and this is such a gorgeous historic place. It is such a shame that we even have to play politics over a place like this. It is my understanding that some members of congress got bend out of shape because President Obama declared “too many National Monuments.” I find this sad, at least when it comes to Ft. Monroe, the place reeks of history and needs to be preserved and maintained. It would be great if there was a visitor’s center and some more information for the visitors (if there is one, it is difficult to find).
During our walk on Sunday we climbed the walls and I took this picture of the lighthouse just outside the fort. In the background you can see Fort Wool, another interesting feature of the Hampton Roads. In all, it was a great late afternoon stroll through an historic place.
An update (5/23/2014) in today's newspaper it was reported that the state has allocated 14 million per year for the next three years for some rehabilitation work at the fort. Naturally first on the list is the Fort Monroe Authority's own office building.