Fort Trumbull (1852)

June 21st, 2009 Posted in Egyptian Revival, Military, New London

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In 1775, Governor Jonathan Trumbull recommended that a fort be constructed near the mouth of the Thames River to protect the port of New London. The first Fort Trumbull, completed in 1777, was captured by the British during Arnold’s 1781 Raid. The Fort was rebuilt around 1808 as a “second system” fort, a structure that was later replaced by the present fortification, a “third system” fort, constructed between 1839 and 1852. Fort Trumbull is a five-sided, four-bastion coastal defense fort and is unique among American forts because it was built in the Egyptian Revival style, inspired by the Temple of Luxor. During the Civil War, the Fort was an organizational center and the headquarters of Connecticut’s 14th Infantry Regiment. Over the years, Fort Trumbull has also been used as a training facility: it was the site of the the U.S. Revenue Cutter Academy and then the Coast Guard Academy until 1932; the Merchant Marine Officer Training School program from 1939 to 1946; and was used as the Fort Trumbull campus of the University of Connecticut from 1946 to 1950, where it served veterans attending college under the GI Bill. Fort Trumbull next became the Naval Under Water Sound Laboratory. After the Laboratory was closed in the 1990s, the site was redeveloped to become a State Park. Work began in 1999 and in 2001 it was opened to the public for tours.

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