October 29, 2018
By: MICHAEL GOOT
TICONDEROGA — Fort Ticonderoga officials have kicked off the next phase of a $70 million capital campaign to build a new museum to honor the country’s military heritage.
“In the last decade, Fort Ticonderoga has experienced significant growth in visitors, economic impact and educational reach,” said Beth Hill, president and chief executive officer of Fort Ticonderoga, in a news release.
“We continue to offer an unmatched glimpse into the past through our collections, living history programs and academic programming on the very grounds where freedom was advanced.
“We’re excited to move forward with these plans to ensure that people can have access to our singular collections and experience all that Fort Ticonderoga has to offer for generations to come.”
Hill said in a phone interview Friday afternoon that the museum has 2,000 acres of land along Lake Champlain and it has identified a location to build a facility to tell the story of America’s military heritage.
A goal would be to have that project completed by the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.
The announcement came at a news conference, where the museum also touted its nearly $250,000 federal grant it received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to be used for its $620,000 project to inventory, catalog and store more than 30,000 items from its objects collection, according to a news release.
“We will then have the capacity to digitize and get them accessible on our online database, which we have already launched with some of our paper materials,” Hill said.
The new grant comes on the heels of $2.45 million in funding awarded to Fort Ticonderoga by the state for preservation and re-use of the Pavilion, which is the historic home on the campus. It was built in 1826 and is considered one of the first summer homes.
The money from the governor’s Regional Economic Development Council requires a match, and the museum is close to hitting the goal, according to Hill.
The renovated building will include expanded visitor amenities, conference center capacity and new educational and exhibition space, according to a news release.
Hill said it is anticipated that the work on the Pavilion will be completed in 2020.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) was on hand to make the announcement of the federal grant.
“Our region thrives on the tourism and commerce we generate from our unique historical heritage, and Fort Ticonderoga is a pillar of our area’s culture,” she said in the release, issued Friday.
“As a child, I remember spending many days at Fort Ticonderoga with my brother and parents, exploring the grounds and watching historical re-enactments.
“The expansion announced today is great news not only for our tourism economy, but for the countless families like my own that will be enriched through the educational programs at Fort Ticonderoga.
State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblyman Dan Stec (R-Queensbury) were also at the press conference.
The fort is on the site of the original fortification built by the French in 1755 during the French and Indian War.