Statue Commission

Project Procedures

Request for Monument Proposals


This project is currently on hold. No solicitations are being accepted at this time.


About Fort Monroe Monument 


For over 400 years, the point of land known as Old Point Comfort that now includes Fort Monroe has served as the key defensive site at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Beginning with Native American’s use years before the settling of Jamestown to its most recent mission as the US Army’s Headquarters for Training and Doctrine Command until 2011, Old Point Comfort and Fort Monroe has influenced all aspects of our nation’s history.


The eventual founders of Jamestown first landed on and named Point Comfort. On April 29, 1607, George Percy found the water and land to put them in good comfort so he named the land “Cape Comfort.” The following year while trading with the Kecoughtan Indians, Captain John Smith started mapping the region and named the land originally Poynt Comfort. In 1609 Fort Algernon was constructed. Unfortunately, late in the winter of 1612 Fort Algernon accidently burned and was destroyed. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to erect a permanent fortification at Point Comfort but the fort was essentially abandoned for the next 100 years.


In the latter part of August 1619 a ship flying a Dutch flag, the White Lion, arrived at Point Comfort. Its cargo was “Twenty and Odd Africans”, captured from a slave ship in the Gulf of Mexico. These Africans had been captured from the Ndongoregion of Angola, Africa and were being transported to Vera Cruz, Mexico to be sold as slaves when their ship was attacked by privateers looking for gold or silver. The arrival of the Africans at Point Comfort marked the first landing of Africans on English occupied territory in North America. The arrival of the first Africans is integral in the Forts history and a defining event that contributed to President Barack Obama declaring Fort Monroe a National Monument in November 2011.


In the 1630’s the Fort’s name was changed to Old Point Comfort.       

In 1730 Fort George was constructed to be more permanent than Fort Algernon but the masonry walls were filled with sand. On October 19, 1749, powerful hurricane destroyed Fort George and Old Point Comfort was once again unfortified and the  entire Chesapeake Bay was vulnerable to attack.


In 1813 during the War of 1812, Old Point Comfort and the 1802 lighthouse became an observation post when it temporarily fell into British hands. As a result of the British invasion and specifically following the burning of Washington, DC Fort   Monroe was constructed as part of a coastal defense strategy developed by the U.S. Army. Named for James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, Fort    

Monroe’s construction, with labor by slaves, began in 1819 and was completed in 1836. As a young lieutenant, Robert E. Lee was stationed at Fort Monroe from 1831-1834 and directed the final phase of construction. From Fort Monroe, Lee for a time oversaw construction at future Fort Wool as well. The largest stone fort ever built in America cost nearly two million dollars to construct, covered 63 acres of land, and took over 15 years to complete.

From 1861-1865, most of Virginia became part of the Confederate States of America; however Fort Monroe remained a Union stronghold throughout the war. During that time, the fort became the birthplace of the Civil War-era freedom movement when 3 enslaved men, Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and James Townsend, escaped the Confederate Army at Sewell’s Point and fled in a small boat to Fort Monroe. Union commander General Benjamin Butler refused to return the slaves calling them “Contraband of War.” General Butler’s contraband policies led to the Emancipation Proclamation and earned Fort Monroe the nickname “Freedom’s Fortress” or the “Freedom Fort.”

As you can see the African imprint on Fort Monroe’s history has been historic and heroic, changing the social and cultural landscape of a new continent. The monument should be a lasting tribute to their achievements in building this great country and their role in emancipation.   




The partnership seeks an artist to design and create a monument that will honor the arrival of the first Africans at the fort and their subsequent role in the cultural heritage of America. The final artwork should be inspiring, stimulate thought and   conversation and serve as an example of creativity. It should be captivating, lively and unifying.




The monument should be large enough to be seen from the Chesapeake Bay. It should be visible by ships passing in the harbor. It must be fabricated in durable, permanent outdoor materials that are safe and easily maintained. All artwork styles will be considered. The monument shall be designed and constructed of materials that will last for generations. If a stone product is being used, indicate the mining site, color, and composition. If the material is metal, indicate metal alloy composition properties. The monument shall be constructed above the frequent storm surge elevation. This could be accomplished by erecting the monument on a pedestal.   Artists should explain how they have incorporated long-term preservation into the design and materials they have chosen for their proposed monuments.

Other components of the proposal could include a water feature such as a water fountain, meditation pond, seating areas, landscaping, flagpoles, and interpretive signage. Indicate whether the monument will be lighted and the lighting requirements. Site requirements such as parking, plaza, infrastructure, lighting, water and utilities is not a part of the proposal and will be completed by others




Fort Monroe is located along the Chesapeake Bay. It is exposed to the elements on three sides. The proposed monument site is located along the shore line. The exact location is yet to be determined but will be within 25-75 yards of the shoreline. The proposed site area will be subject to annual ambient temperature ranging from 15 degrees F to 100 degrees F. The site area will be subject to salt spray coming from the bay, high winds and the occasional Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.

Link to Google Map,-76.43065,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6c3dc22719c9eee1



Up to three finalists may be selected to be interviewed by the Partnership. We prefer to interview in person but Skype could be utilized.  The finalists are not expected to complete a design at this stage but will be interviewed about past work, creative process and preliminary discussion of the site. The committee reserves the right not to accept any of the finalists. The artist selected will be given a negotiated fee to begin a series of conceptual drawings. Once the concept is approved the artist will then be given a negotiated fee to finalize constructing drawings. Once all parties agree to the final concept the    artist will then be given a negotiated fee to begin fabrication, materials, shipping, transportation, installation and incidental expenses. The artist must hire a VA licensed contractor to install the monument. The selected artist will be asked to be present to speak at various events on their artwork and concept and especially at local events prior to or after installation. The selected artist must carry a Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy naming the Partnership as an additional insured, and must provide certificates of insurance to that effect guaranteeing thirty (30) days written notice before any changes to the policies become effective. If the artist employs anyone in connection with this work, the artist must carry a worker’s compensation insurance policy; and must carry an automobile liability insurance policy if appropriate. The artist shall also be   responsible for artist’s subcontractors, if there be any, meeting the same insurance    requirements.




The goal of the partnership is to develop, commission and dedicate the monument at Fort Monroe by August 2019. 





The commission will be awarded based on many factors such as the aesthetic value, creativity and contemporary relevance of the proposed piece. The award will be made to the responsible artist whose submission is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the Partnership taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth in this Request for Proposal.

 The following criteria will be used in the proposal evaluation process:

• Artistic merit (excellence, originality, creativity and innovative approaches) as

evidenced by submitted materials

• Professional artistic experience to fulfill the requirements of this project either in

studio, educational, community, employment and/or art projects and the ability to

undertake the design, creation and installation of the artwork

• Appropriateness of materials, style and concepts in relation to this prospectus





Six (6) copies of each package must be submitted.

The original proposal must be clearly marked. Only one (1) CD-ROM of your prior

work is required with your proposal. Each proposal shall also provide the following


1. A letter of interest, not to exceed one page, explaining why you are interested

in this project and how you will approach the artwork design and creation.

2. Up to 6 images of prior work, submitted as digital images (1 copy) to the

following specifications.

DIGITAL IMAGES: Images should be sent on a PC-compatible CD-ROM

in JPG format. Each file should be named with vendor surname and

image number to correspond with annotated image list. Maximum image

size is 3000 by 2400 pixels. Do not embed images into PowerPoint or submit moving images or audio files.

3. An annotated image list not to exceed two pages, clearly labeled with your full

name and a numerical listing for each image, the title of the work, the media,

dimensions, project budget and year of completion

4. A current resume not exceeding two pages


6. OPTIONAL: a visual representation of 1-4 images of concepts and/or a

description of ideas and proposed media may be submitted on an 8.5” x 11”

paper or on disc to the specifications listed above. Artists will not be expected to commit to any preliminary ideas but this may help the Planning Committee select an artist.

7. OPTIONAL: The artist has the option to submit additional materials such as catalogs, maquettes, press articles, etc.


QUESTIONS/FOLLOW UP: Questions about this project may be directed to or 757-380-1319 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Submission Form


Artists may enter up to three existing works and/or installation proposals for new work.



I. Contact Information

Name ___________________________________________

Address _________________________________________

City ___________________ State ______ Zip ___________

Home Phone: ____________________________________

Cell Phone: ______________________________________

Email Address: ___________________________________

Website: ________________________________________


II. Entered work (up to three ) in order of preference:

1. Title: _______________________________________

Materials: ____________________________________

Dimensions, including base:

H _______ W _______ D ______ Weight ___________

Year completed (if applicable):____________________


2. Title: _______________________________________

Materials: ____________________________________

Dimensions, including base:

H _______ W _______ D ______ Weight ___________

Year completed (if applicable):____________________


3. Title: _______________________________________

Materials: ____________________________________

Dimensions, including base:

H _______ W _______ D ______ Weight ___________

Year completed (if applicable):____________________



Submit complete package to:


Project 1619 Inc.

PO Box 1233

Hampton, VA 23661