Salazar Expected to Recommend Ft. Monroe Be Declared National Monument
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is planning to recommend that President Obama declare Fort Monroe a national monument, the Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday.
Salazar has talked with state and local officials about the possibility of Monroe, located on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Va., becoming a unit of the National Park Service system through a presidential proclamation. The Antiquities Act allows the president to proclaim historic sites as national monuments.
The issue now will go to the White House, according to the story.
In June, the secretary visited the stone-and-water-moat at Monroe and told the paper the property could become a great urban national park. “I don’t know that I’ve been to another place that has the history Fort Monroe has,” he said.
The site’s history dates to 1609 when fortifications first were established at Old Point Comfort.
The state’s congressional delegation also is pursuing legislation that would establish a National Park Service unit at the 570-acre installation.
Last week, the Army turned over responsibility for running the post to the Fort Monroe Authority. Transfer of the property to the authority is not expected to be completed until early next year, however.