The state will be holding a meeting Nov. 8 to determine the future of the historic Fort DuPont.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is looking for public input on how it will go forward with the development of the 443-acre property between Delaware City and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

The site, which is listed as a National Historic District, houses several state agencies including DNREC's Division of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Health and Social Services' Governor Bacon Health Center, and the Delaware National Guard.

"The redevelopment of the property at Fort DuPont offers the state and the city a unique opportunity to better preserve the historical significance and heritage of a very important part of history," said Delaware City Mayor John Buchheit.

According to DNREC, Fort DuPont is Delaware's least visited State Park and it is considered underutilized. Officials also said that many of the historic buildings are in poor condition and coastal storms and floods threaten the historic infrastructure.

A team of local partners and international designers will perform critical analyses en route to proposing option for the reuse of what was once a bustling military post along the Delaware River.

Some of the designers will include Sasaki Associates Inc., of Watertown, Mass., and Tetra Tech of Newark.

Other efforts being made to improve the historic park include extensive public engagement, a real estate and economic development analysis, and an in-dept review of the historic buildings, their condition and restoration potential.

Sasaki Associates will share preliminary observations of the Fort DuPont Complex at the first community meeting Nov. 8.

Following the presentation, community members will share their goals and aspirations for the property at interactive workgroup tables.

Delaware City is a key partner in the project, DNREC officials said.

Fort DuPont originated during the Civil War and was named after Rear Admiral Samuel Francis DuPont.

The fort defended the area along the Delaware River from naval attacks through 1921 and was a main defense site during World War I.

During World War II, Fort DuPont housed prisoners of war from Germany's Afrika Corps.

It was decommissioned after the war and in 1947, the Governor Bacon Health Center opened on site.

The site contains six Endicott Era gun batteries, named for President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of War, William C. Endicott.

The Endicott Era lasted from 1885 until 1905.


What Community meeting on future of Fort DuPont

When Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

Where Delaware City Fire Hall

815 Fifth Street, Delaware City, Del.