Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Fort Fincastle to be restored and marketed as a heritage park

By Dawn Demeritte, MOT

Nassau, Bahamas - Fort Fincastle, the Water Tower, and the Queen’s Staircase are all pillars of Bahamian history and will have a massive upgrade over the next few months to breathe life into the country’s most visited tourist attraction.

The plans for the new and improved fort include a restoration of the water tower, cleanup of the surrounding areas, acquisition and lease of neighboring properties, a commercialized restaurant, proposals to terrace the area, as well as improved parking and exhibition opportunities.

On completion, the area will be known as the Fort Fincastle Heritage Park.

Courtney Strachan, Chairman of Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation said changes to the Fort were necessary for tourism and for the corporation to sustain itself.

“At Fort Fincastle, the water tower has been closed for 15 years and there a lot of dilapidated houses surrounding the property. Over a million tourists visit the site but only 200,00 people pay for admission. An upgrade to the property will be an opportunity to market Fort Fincastle, have a story to tell and include a wow factor,” he said.

The current admission to the fort is one dollar and this includes a full tour of the fort including the Queen’s Staircase. After a complete revival of the property, admission will be $15 and will include a day at the monument.

According to Chairman Strachan, the most anticipated restoration is the water tower which people flock to the Fort to gape at.

“The water tower is considered one of the most popular sites in the Caribbean. It is either ranked first or second for most visited sites. Once we’re able to restore it we can sell it as a premium site to visit because tourists are now looking for heritage tourism,” Strachan said.

Strachan added that security is also a big concern and they are working on improved security measures.

Future additional projects by AMMC include the expansion of Fort Charlotte reenactments, privatization of Fort Montague, a partnership with the Port Authority to create museums in Freeport, the opening of Sir. Sidney Poiter’s resident as a tourist site and restoration of Mt. Alvernia.