August 25, 2015, was a “monumental” moment at Fort Monroe as the Governor of Virginia signed the deed officially transferring 120 acres of property from the Commonwealth of Virginia to the National Park Service.
Peggy O’Dell, the deputy director of the National Park Service (NPS), watched as Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the deed, officially ceding the state’s portion of the land that makes up Fort Monroe National Monument. The “Signing Ceremony” took place on the Main Gate Bridge to the fortress as hundreds of people watched the historic moment unfold.
“Fort Monroe is a rich historical site that helps tell the story of our Commonwealth and our country,” McAuliffe said. “By transferring this land to the NPS, we are creating the opportunity to enhance this great asset so that we can preserve our history and leverage it to draw greater tourism revenue and economic activity to the Peninsula. I am thrilled to sign this deed and help begin the next chapter in the history of Fort Monroe.”
The Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) and the NPS have been working to ensure a seamless transition so the public and the existing businesses are not affected by the change in ownership. Visitors to the beaches, the boardwalk, and the Casemate Museum will experience additional enhancements over time as the NPS and the FMA continue to preserve the property and tell the great history of Fort Monroe. Infrastructure operations such as utilities, lawn care, and maintenance of roads and sidewalks will continue to be managed by the FMA.
“One of our primary goals is for visitors to seamlessly traverse and enjoy the historic property at Fort Monroe without any awareness of property lines or property ownership,” said FMA Executive Director Glenn Oder.