Fort DuPont, Delaware: An Architectural Survey and Evaluation

Ames, David L.
Doerrfeld, Dean A.
Elterich, Allison W.
Fisher, Caroline C.
Siders (Sheppard), Rebecca J.
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Center for Historic Architecture and Engineering
Commissioned in 1899 as a part of the nation's coastal defense system, Fort DuPont headquartered the Coastal Artillery Corps that commanded the coastal artillery installations defending Wilmington,Philadelphia, and the Delaware Valley from naval attack. Military officals recognized the strategic importance of the Reedy Point site as early as 1819 when they proposed the construction of a three-tiered fortification. Located on the western shore of the Delaware River at a point where it narrows through the bend, the site allowed a clear line of fire downsteam. The earliest armament at the site came in the form of a defensive position constructed during the Civil War when "Ten Gun Battery" was built to support Fort Delaware and to protect the river's westen channel. In the early 1870's, the army replaced Ten Gun Battery with a larger emplacement planned for twenty guns. along with a regunned Fort Delaware and the new Fort Mott on the eastern New Jersey side, the new battery defended the Delaware River and Valley against foreign attack. Construction began on Fort DuPont in 1899 and was completed about 1913. In 1922 as its importance to coastal defense declined, the fort became the headquarters for the First Engineers Regiment. After the engineers moved out in 1939, it became a training facility, a role that continued until the end of World War II when the State of Delaware aquired the fort. This report describes and evaluates the historic significance of Fort DuPont and determines the eligibility of the fort and its historic resources for the National Register of Historic Places. The work was undertaken by the center for Historic Architecture and Engineering(CHAE),University of Delaware, for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Parks and Recreation, as part of their evaluation of the feasibility of Fort DuPont as a state park. The survey, evaluation, and context research was conducted between April 1993 and March 1994.
Fort DuPont, Delaware , Fortification , Military facility