Fort Frederick Receiving Long Overdue Facelift

Major Overhaul Underway for Historic Site

Article by 25366 Anna-Michelle Shewfelt

In a previous edition of e-Veritas, we showed you a glimpse of the construction work in progress at Fort Frederick. We’ve now learned updated details of just what is being done and why. According to Ashley Mendes, Assistant Curator for the RMC Museum in the Fort, “Fort Frederick is receiving restoration work to repair the masonry of the martello tower and other features within the Fort.” As she went on to explain, “The limestone and mortar was deteriorating causing cracks in the walls and allowing moisture in. The Museum removed the displays and artifacts from the tower in 2016 in anticipation of the work and because the humidity in the tower had become unsafe for the collections.”

As she went on to describe, the work is already well underway. “The current restoration work has been in progress for close to a year,” she said. “It started last September as a test project, repairing the masonry around one caponier and one window on the tower in order to explore how the masonry on the rest of the tower could be restored.  In addition to that test project the original limestone retaining walls surrounding the Armstrong gun in the Lake water bastion (at the tip of the point) were reconstructed, as was as the carriage for the gun itself.  Structural repairs were also made to the roof of the Martello tower.”

The remainder of the work was only actually approved this past summer. “The tower will be completely restored over the next three years! This will include repair and reconstruction of the masonry of the whole tower,” she said.

Cadets and Ex-Cadets alike can look therefore look forward to repair work being a fixture of the peninsula for some time to come and, just as importantly, to a fully repaired tower once the work is complete!

One Comment

  • 5992 Jim Barrett

    August 22, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    This is a nicely written piece, and it’s encouraging to see work begin on the old Fort. Can I take issue however with the “fully repaired tower and museum”? As noted in an earlier series of e-Veritas articles (November and December 2016), there is no expectation that the museum will return to Fort Frederick tower. Even when fully repaired, the tower will not meet the necessary environmental conditions of a professional museum. It is not located where the public has easy access, nor will it meet modern accessibility requirements. These reasons, and a sense that our collection cannot properly tell RMC’s story from the confines of the tower, have led to the current project to build a new RMC Museum. There’ll be more written about the Museum project in future issues of e-Veritas.