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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

114-0002 Fort Monroe Historic District

Fort Monroe Historic District
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

See link(s) below to view additional documentation.

VLR Listing Date 09/09/1969

NRHP Listing Date 10/15/1966

NHL Listing Date 12/19/1960

NPS property number 66000912, 13000708

Constructed in 1819-34 to guard Hampton Roads, the vast moated Fort Monroe is among the nation’s most ambitious works of early military architecture. It was designed by Gen. Simon Bernard, a military engineer under Napoleon before becoming head of the U.S. Board of Engineers, in charge of construction of coastal defenses. During the Civil War, the fort was a staging area for Union military and naval expeditions. The fort witnessed the epic fight between the ironclads Monitor and Virginia, and many area enslaved African Americans found refuge here. Former Confederate president Jefferson Davis was imprisoned here from 1865 to 1867. Fort Monroe remained an active military post into the early 21st century, serving as the headquarters of the Continental Army Command. The landmark designation applies not only to the fortifications but to the wide array of army buildings both within and outside the fort.

In 2012, the boundary of the historic district was increased. The original stone fortress of Fort Monroe enclosed approximately 63 acres, and was built using the technology and defensive theories characteristic of the Third System of American coastal fortification. Fort Monroe covers approximately 565 acres, including the original 63 acres enclosed within the stone fortification, as well as most of the Old Point Comfort peninsula.  On September 15, 2011, Fort Monroe closed as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission decision. This update to the Fort Monroe Historic District nomination introduces new themes, includes a timeline for the architectural evolution of Fort Monroe, and provides detailed descriptions of all resources, including significant historic landscapes.
[VLR Listed 6/21/2012; NRHP Listed: 3/9/2015]

1975 National Historic Landmark Nomination

2013 Update and Boundary Increase Nomination


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated February 15, 2019