Fort Zachary Taylor
Fort Zachary Taylor was constructed between 1845 and 1866. The fort was originally located approximately 1000 feet offshore, and was connected to Key West by a narrow causeway. The fort originally held 140 cannons on three levels. Fort Taylor remained in Union hands during the Civil War, and served as an important Union port serving the blockade of the South. In the 1890s, the fort was heavily modified: the top two tiers were removed and two new coastal artillery batteries were constructed within the fort’s walls. Additional artillery, antennas and weapons were added and removed during World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Fort was decommissioned and transferred to the State of Florida in 1976. Now owned by the State of Florida, Fort Zachary Taylor is designated as a National Historic Landmark, and is open to the public as Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
Bender & Associates has been working at Fort Taylor for over a decade. In 2005 Bender & Associates was commissioned to create a Historic Structures Report to establish priorities for preservation and restoration. In 2007, ADA upgrades were performed at the park’s beach and restroom areas. In 2009, the roof of the Fort’s Barracks Building was removed and replaced, and masonry repair and repointing was completed on the east and west walls. Also in 2009, spalling repairs were performed at Battery Osceola. In 2010, drawings were completed for a new green roof at the North Casemate. This work has not yet been funded. In 2015, Bender & Associates was commissioned to design a new entry station for the entire park.
2012 Historic Florida Keys Foundation: Award for Excellence in Restoration