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Casemate Museum News

Visits and Events

Spring and summer saw excellent visitation as well as increased volunteer hours at the Casemate Museum. The Museum collaborated with partner organizations on a number of public programs, including a Commemoration of the 153rd Anniversary of the Contraband Decision, an Educator Symposium on the War of 1812 and an “Artillery School of Practice” kids’ activity for the “Fourth at the Fort” Independence Day Celebration. Two new tour opportunities were also added. Casemate staff continued to lead popular walking tours with introductory talks provided by National Park Service Rangers.

 

New Historian Welcomed

The Casemate Museum proudly welcomes Robert Kelly as Museum Historian. Robert has been working with the Historic Preservation Department of the Fort Monroe Authority for the past three years. He brings a wealth of knowledge to his new position, related especially to the Fort’s diverse architecture and associated maps, plans and other primary source documents. As historian, Robert is responsible for managing museum archives, conducting primary research and supporting education, collections and preservation initiatives. Robert Kelly is a graduate of Old Dominion University, where he received his Bachelor of History in 2009. While studying at ODU, Robert focused on Civil War, Virginia, and Maritime History. Currently, he is working on his Masters in American History at Norwich University. Robert served as the Research and Preservation Assistant for the Fort Monroe Authority from 2011 – 2014 and this past spring was named the Casemate Museum Historian. With parents originally from Hampton Roads and a grandmother who worked at Fort Monroe following World War II, Robert is no stranger to Freedom’s Fortress. He admires the rich history and natural beauty of Fort Monroe and is excited to be a part of its future.

 

Historic Structures Report – Structural Monitoring & Testing at the Casemate Museum

As part of a the continuing partnership between the Fort Monroe Authority, the National Park Service’s Fort Monroe National Monument, and the Department of Defense, the Historic Architecture, Conservation & Engineering (HACE) Center for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service will be working on the completion of a Historic Structure Report (HSR) for the Fort Monroe Authority’s Casemate Museum from May 2014 through June 2015, utilizing grant funding from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. The HSR will provide the Fort Monroe Authority with a comprehensive understanding of the Casemate Museum and Archives section of the fortifications that will be critical to addressing ongoing structural and aesthetic issues in a manner sensitive to the historic fabric and character of the Fort Monroe National Monument and National Historic Landmark.

Key sections of the HSR:

  • Describe the general history of Fort Monroe and the people and events that make the fort a National Historic Landmark, paying particular attention to the history of the casemates in the context of Fort Monroe.
  • Focus on the construction of the casemates, modifications and alterations to the structures, and the historical use of the casemates, with particular attention to the Casemate Museum and Archives.
  • Focus on the investigation, documentation, and description of the physical elements and characteristics of the Casemate Museum and Archives, discussing the existing conditions and historical integrity of the structures and their architectural elements
  • Provide a systematic assessment of material and component deterioration and performance, structural behavior, and interior environmental issues, with classification of condition and treatment priority.
  • Provide recommended remedial treatment(s) and impacts related to historic fabric and occupancy requirements in compliance with The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and National Park Service Director’s Order 28: Cultural Resource Management Guideline.

In order to gather crucial structural and environmental data necessary for the systematic assessment described for the HSR, HACE staff has and will continue to install and monitor a variety of measuring and diagnostic equipment, including crack monitors mounted to walls and ceilings. HACE staff will also utilize limited materials sampling methods for laboratory analysis of material compositions and strengths, working with Casemate Museum and Archive management and staff to minimize the visual impacts of these samples and the disruption to both museum operations and visitor experience. Stay tuned for further information as the HSR investigation process unfolds over the next 12 months.