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Press Room

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Today, Fort Monroe remains a home and workplace to many people just as it was during its military service. We offer a variety of media assistance to news media and organizations interested in filming, videotaping or taking still photography at Fort Monroe. That assistance may include tours of the fort, interviews, and access to our photo library. All commercial filming activities taking place on Fort Monroe require written permission and/or permits. Please contact Phyllis Terrell, Director of Communications at 757-251-2754 or for assistance.

Recent Press Releases and Advisories



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On November 1, 2011, President Barack Obama designated Fort Monroe as a National Monument. In so doing, the president exercised his authority under the rarely used Antiquities Act, which permits certain restrictions for the use of federally owned land. The president’s proclamation was made in response to the efforts of citizens, historical groups and Virginia politicians who sought to preserve and maintain the historic property.


  • Area originally explored by Captain Christopher Newport in 1607
  • “Pointe Comfort” named by Captain John Smith in 1607
  • Fort Algernourne was established at Old Point Comfort – modern day Fort Monroe – in 1609 by Captain John Smith and was destroyed by a fire in 1612
  • Fort George was built on Old Point Comfort in 1727 and guarded the Hampton Roads Harbor until 1749 when it was destroyed by a hurricane
  • Fort Monroe construction began in 1819 and was completed in 1834
  • Fort was named in honor of President James Monroe
  • Fort Monroe has the largest stone fort ever built in America
  • Fort became known as “Freedom’s Fortress” when Major General Benjamin F. Butler, refused to return slaves who escaped to Fort Monroe during the Civil War
  • During the Civil War, Fort Monroe was one of only four permanent Union forts never taken by the Confederacy
  • Fort Monroe was secure enough to house President Abraham Lincoln, who visited the Fort during the height of the war
  • The Monitor and Merrimack fought their epic battle off the shores of Fort Monroe
  • Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned at Fort Monroe
  • Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1960
  • Listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1966
  • Current site has 170 historic buildings
  • Fort Monroe closed as a military instillation in September 2011
  • President Barack Obama signed an executive order creating the Fort Monroe National Monument in November 2011


  • Barrier spit of land with water on all 3 sides, totaling 565 acres
  • 8 miles of waterfront, 3 miles of beaches and a 332-slip marina
  • 85 acres of wetlands
  • Nearly 200 acres of natural resources
  • Mill Creek shallow water inlet suitable for small watercraft
  • Numerous recreational facilities and opportunities


  • A political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia charged with reuse planning and management in perpetuity of Fort Monroe, Old Point Comfort, Virginia, a state enclave, open to all on September 15, 2011
  • Created by Act of the Virginia General Assembly in 2010
  • Led by an 14-member appointed Board of Trustees
  • Five key essentials for reuse:
    • Respect the site’s historic assets
    • Open the site to the public
    • Achieve economic sustainability
    • Create an open space park
    • Allow new development within strict limits
  • Implemented by a small permanent staff, supplemented by professional consultants
  • Compliance agency for BRAC law; activities include:
    • Overall BRAC compliance
    • Community planning
    • Environmental engineering
    • Civil engineering
    • Historic preservation planning
    • Commercial and retail economics
    • Tourism and public relations/marketing
    • Interpretive and educational programs for the public
    • Organizational governance and management
  • Party to the U.S. Army’s Programmatic Agreement (PA) under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) to be implemented in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and designated Fort Monroe Historic Preservation Officer
  • Promoting Fort Monroe and planning the responsible stewardship of the land and landmarks through a management structure unique in Virginia