It’s official: President Obama will sign a proclamation at 1:45 p.m. at the White House Tuesday designating the 565-acre Fort Monroe as a national monument -- relieving the many preservationists and historians who worried that the future of the historic fort would be residential and commercial development.
This marks the first time Obama has made use of the Antiquities Act which gives him authority to protect historic American sites. In a White House release, Obama said his imitative was about more than the preservation, “it’s about helping to create jobs and grow the local economy. Steps like this won’t replace the bold action we need from Congress to get the economy moving and strengthen middle-class families but they will make a difference.”
The U.S. Army officially closed the fort in September and handed the property over to the state of Virginia. According to an economic analysis commissioned by the Fort Monroe Authority in 2009, the preservation of a major section of the fort and most of its buildings by the federal government would help create 3,000 jobs.