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West Point Revolutionary War Earthworks

Battlefields & Cemeteries

West Point Revolutionary War Earthworks
West Point, New York

At the request of the West Point Cultural Resources Office, Heritage Landscapes assessed the conditions of two Revolutionary War earthworks and made recommendations that would foster their preservation and allow for continued visits from staff, cadets, and school children learning about West Point 's role in the American Revolution as well as the U.S. Civil War. In addition to a baseline assessment of Redoubt 4, Heritage Landscapes evaluated Redoubts 1 and 2 with their batteries and a linking trail for existing conditions reflecting a long history of visitors and the effects of weather. Both redoubts showed marked deterioration of the original walls caused by removal of stones to construct a building and stones moved to build fire rings, seats, and anchors for memorial plaques. Heritage Landscapes noted foundation and site fragility due to rocky soil and outcroppings with little vegetation to hold soil and protect the sites from deterioration.

Heritage Landscapes recommended that the primary goal of the Corps of Engineers should be to preserve the redoubts and batteries through stabilization and slowing of visitor and climate induced degradation. Stone walls would be re-created as they fell using the historic stones on site. The assessment determined that control of foot traffic was the most important factor in preserving the earthworks. Recommendations included marking paths and viewing areas to keep visitors off the fragile areas and cleaning out woody growth and planting warm season grasses to stabilize the surrounding terrain of the historic sites. The presence of a transient Army population posed special challenges to interpretation and management. Heritage Landscapes emphasized significant staff involvement and time necessary for providing site maintenance as well as the on-going education about the sites. Programmatic recommendations included the distribution of interpretive materials to staff, cadets, and base personnel at orientation to the post as a means to educate visitors.

Client:
West Point Cultural Resources Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York Office

Projects:
West Point Military Academy Revolutionary War Earthworks Conditions Assessment & Recommendations, 1999

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners