Fort Pickens restoration project completed

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staff report

GULF BREEZE — Gulf Islands National Seashore has completed a five-month preservation project at Fort Pickens west of Pensacola Beach.

The work, which began in November 2017, involved cleaning, repairing, repointing and in some cases replacing bricks within the historic fort. According to a press release from Gulf Islands National Seashore, the work “ensures the fort will continue to be one of the best examples of the American fort building in the 1800s.”

The National Seashore’s historic preservation team was joined by seven employees of the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center. The employees completed a significant amount of work in and around the historic fort, including repairs and replacement of bricks on Fort Pickens’ outer walls; repairs to the scuppers (drainage spouts) inside the fort; removal of vegetation, mold and mildew from scarp walls; and stabilization of a parapet (the chest-high wall on top level of the fort).

The National Seashore preserves historic structures built between the late 1700s to mid-1900s, the largest of which includes four masonry forts built in the mid-1800s. All work follows the Department of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Structures, according to the press release. It is informed by the park’s Cultural Resource Program, which evaluates and documents the historic resources at the National Seashore.

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