Preservation News: Fort Pickens

Earlier this year, Gulf Islands National Seashore shared the news that five months of preservation work had been completed at Fort Pickens.

Located near Pensacola, Florida, and completed in 1834, this historic structure had the distinction during the Civil War of being one of the few forts in the South that never surrendered to the Confederates. Fort Pickens’s Union defenders fought off a direct attack on October 9, 1861, then in November helped bombarded two Confederate-held forts nearby. By May 10, 1862, the remaining Confederates near Pensacola surrendered to the garrison at Fort Pickens. 

According to the National Park Service, the most-recent preservation efforts at Fort Pickens started in November 2017 and finished early in 2018. Seven NPS employees from the Historic Preservation Training Center completed much of the project. “This critical work ensures the fort will continue to be one of the best examples of the American fort building in the 1800s,” reported the NPS press release.

“Preservation work at Fort Pickens” NPS Photo, originally shared with press release

It’s exciting to see the details of the preservation, and the following list was posted by the Park Service.

Preservation Work Completed:

  • Repairs and replacement of bricks on the Fort Pickens scarp (outer) walls
  • Repairs to the scuppers (drainage down spouts) inside Fort Pickens, which included replacing bricks around the scuppers and repointing the new bricks.
  • Removed vegetation, mold, and mildew from Fort Pickens scarp walls on Bastion B
  • Stabilization of the Bastion A parapet (chest-high wall on top level of the fort). The parapet wall had significant vegetation on, in and around the wall causing it to become unstable, it was rebuilt and repaired using matching brick and mortar.
  • Near the historic fort, pump plant building was repointed and all four corners of the building had brick replacement, the brick had become loose for lack of mortar.

If you’re visiting Florida, be sure to check-out Fort Pickens and other Civil War sites along the coast to see and support this impressive preservation work.

Fort Pickens Website

NPS Press Release about Fort Pickens

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