Located on Old Point Comfort at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the area that is now Fort Monroe has been a strategic location since before European settlement of tidewater Virginia. Fort Monroe was established in 1819 when the US built a series of coastal defense installations in response to the War of 1812.
The 570 acre fort is a National Historic Landmark. It has engineering, architectural, landscape and historic resources. It played a notable role in the Civil War as the location of General Butlers Contraband decision prompting hundreds of enslaved Africans and African Americans to seek freedom with its walls.
Under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, the Army will leave the fort in 2011 and it will revert back to the Commonwealth of Virginia. As part of the BRAC process, a reuse plan was required.
As a subcontractor to the architectural firm Hanbury, Evans, Wright, Vlattas (HEWV), Hanbury Preservation Consulting was part of a master planning process that involved extensive community involvement through a series of highly orchestrated public meetings, charettes and a week long design open house where the community was welcome to come and participate in the design and master planning process on-site. As a result of this process five definitive goals were established: protect this historic place and keep it vital; open it up; establish a large-scale open space park; seek economic sustainability; allow new development, within strict limits.
The Reuse Plan was formally adopted in June of 2008.
In a second phase of the project, Hanbury Preservation Consulting, again subcontracting with HEWV is currently preparing historic preservation and rehabilitation guidelines that are building-specific for every individual contributing resource on post. These guidelines will be part of a programmatic agreement governing the transfer of the base from federal to state and ultimately private ownership. They will be binding and used by a management structure to insure the preservation of these assets in perpetuity. To see the draft design standards, go to http://www.fmauthority.com/authority/design-standards.php