U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-M) today joined
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former
Senator Paul Sarbanes, and
Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-3) in breaking ground for a new state-of-the-art Visitors Center at the Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine.
The new Visitors Center is expected to be completed by fall 2010, in time to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
In 2005, then-Congressman Cardin worked with Senator Paul Sarbanes to get more than $11 million in federal transportation funding for a new Visitors Center at Fort McHenry.
The old Visitors Center was constructed in 1966 and was built to accommodate a maximum of 250,000 visitors a year.
Today, more than 600,000 visitors come to Fort McHenry a year.
“Today’s groundbreaking for a new Visitors Center really marks the beginning of the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, highlighting what is often called the Second War of Independence,” said
“Fort McHenry is one of our nation’s most significant historic landmarks and it serves as a gateway to other important War of 1812 sites in our region.
This new Visitors Center will help visitors have a better of the Fort’s contribution to our history.”