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Gulf Islands National Seashore announced the completion of a five-month preservation project at Fort Pickens.

The work, which began in November, involved cleaning, repairing, repointing, and in some cases replacing bricks within the historic fort. According to the National Park Service, this work ensures the fort will continue to be one of the best examples of the American fort building in the 1800s.

Repairs were made along the fort’s outer walls, including replacement of some bricks. (Gulf Islands National Seashore/Special to The Pulse)

The national seashore’s historic preservation team was joined by seven employees of the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center.

Preservation Work Completed:

  • Repairs and replacement of bricks on the Fort Pickens scarp (outer) walls.
  • Repairs to the scuppers (drainage down spouts) inside Fort Pickens, which included replacing bricks around the scuppers and repointing the new bricks.
  • Removed vegetation, mold, and mildew from Fort Pickens scarp walls on Bastion B.
    Stabilization of the Bastion A parapet (chest-high wall on top level of the fort).
  • The parapet wall had significant vegetation on, in and around the wall causing it to become unstable, it was rebuilt and repaired using matching brick and mortar.
  • Near the historic fort, pump plant building was repointed and all four corners of the building had brick replacement, the brick had become loose for lack of mortar.

The national seashore preserves historic structures built between the late 1700s to mid-1900s, the largest of which include four masonry forts built in the mid-1800s. The work includes minor debris and vegetation clearing to major stabilization and repair projects. According to the park service, all work follows the Department of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Structures and is informed by the park’s Cultural Resource Program which evaluates and documents the historic resources preserved and protected within the national seashore.

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