The Friends of Fort Knox Restoration/Preservation Projects

masonrymortar

Mortar deterioration in Fort Knox casemate

The Century and a Half Project

The Friends of Fort Knox Board of Directors has approved a new project for the Fort that will span the next several years. The project, entitled “The Century and a Half Project”, will repair masonry in large areas of the Fort. The mortar, holding literally miles of brick and granite in place at Fort Knox, is deteriorating at an alarming rate and sections of the structure are in danger of being closed to the public.

For decades the mortar affixing the bricks and granite together at Fort Knox has been exposed to the ravages of harsh Maine weather and salt air – severe conditions for a 163-year old historic site. The mortar deterioration was exacerbated by the Fort’s failing roof structure, which was repaired by public bond in the 1990’s. In 2006, the southern demibastion of the Fort was closed to the public by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands due to falling bricks.
The Century and a Half project will focus on mortar repointing of bricks in high public use areas of the Fort. In particular, the vaulted brick archways of the Fort cannon casemate areas that have lost mortar at an alarming rate. These Fort casemate areas are used heavily by the public.

The Century and a Half Project will identify masonry repointing needs on a three tier system:

Priority One – Areas of the Fort where deteriorating masonry constitute an immediate threat to public safety. Cost estimate for priority one projects is $200,000.

Priority Two – Areas of the Fort where deteriorating masonry will pose a public safety threat within several years. Cost estimate for priority two projects is $250,000.

Priority Three – Areas of the Fort where deteriorating masonry will pose a public safety concern within this decade. Cost estimate for priority three projects is $300,000.

The Fort has ten casemate areas, one of which houses a 10-inch Rodman cannon original to the Fort. During the summer of 2007, three 24-pound flank howitzer cannons and carriages original to Fort Knox were restored by the Friends of Fort Knox and installed in the main bastion casemate. Brick repointing of the casemates will be undertaken on a priority basis tackling those areas with the most mortar loss causing immediate public safety concerns first.

Recent restoration projects completed by the Friends of Fort Knox:
(A complete list can be found here)

restproject

2004 - The Officer's Qtrs Restoration Project (left)

2007 - The Cannon Restoration Project (right)

Individuals who would like to learn more about the Friends of Fort Knox and our financial development campaign may telephone (207)469-6553 or Email: fofk1@aol.com.

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