Friends and NCDNCR advance plans for new Fort Fisher Interpretive Center

The Friends of Fort Fisher leadership and Department of Natural and Cultural Resources have concluded the initial Advance Planning phase for a new and exciting Fort
Fisher museum and visitor center. Architectural firm Clark Nexsen has submitted the plans to the State Office of Construction for review before the next phase of schematic design is undertaken.

The 6-month Advance Planning phase weighed many options, challenges and alternatives for the new, larger facility including flood zones, the U.S. Army’s buffer zone, viewscapes, historic and cultural landscape disruption, traffic and pedestrian safety patterns, to name a few.

The artist renderings only hint at what will be available with the new facility but with double the exhibit gallery space as the current facility, we will be able to tell a more comprehensive story of the importance of Fort Fisher during and after the Civil War. New classroom, orientation auditorium, multi-purpose space with catering kitchen and expanded museum store in a two level facility will provide beautiful views of the fort, ocean and Cape Fear River. Plans also call for reconstruction of a portion of the fort containing the covered sallyport entrance, reconstructed gun chambers and a bombproof tunnel to demonstrate engineering and construction techniques employed in the fort’s building. This project has been championed by State Representative Ted Davis, Jr. (House District 19) and NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi Hamilton. They have secured $5.4 million to date for the Fort Fisher project.

The estimated project cost for the new museum and visitor center is approximately $13 million which does not include new exhibit fabrication and installation. Depending on numerous factors that cost will be determined as the exhibit design progresses with the museum design firm of Riggs Ward.

As partners working to bringing the Fort Fisher project to fruition the Friends will be leading a capital campaign to raise the necessary funding for the new exhibit galleries and some assistance with reconstruction of the fort sallyport, bombproof and elevated gun chambers.

The Friends have engaged Capital Development Services of Winston Salem to provide campaign counsel to the Friends as we move toward a capital campaign.

We will need broad public support to see this project a reality worthy of the sacrifices made here over 150 years ago.

If you can provide assistance, services or work as a volunteer on the campaign please contact me at plaird@friendsoffortfisher.com or telephone (910) 612-7067.