During the night of Saturday, July 15, one of the historical officer's homes on the former Fort Howard Veterans Administration hospital property was torched and burned to the ground by intruders. The only thing left standing was the chimney. This incident is the latest in a continual string of burnings, stripping of commodity metals (copper piping and wiring) and property destruction that has plagued this property since its closing. Not even the main hospital building has been spared, as the first floor of that building has been torched.
Is this what the VA wants? Many in the community are beginning to believe so. If the buildings are allowed to further deteriorate, and be vandalized, the VA will plead the buildings are too far gone to be saved by a developer and allow all of them to be razed. What better way to spare a developer the expense of restoring these historical properties, as is now being required by the VA's developmental plan for the property?
The destruction of this historical property, with buildings dating back to the late 1890s, has to stop. And the owner of the property, the VA, must be compelled to take the needed steps to make it happen.
Save the historical buildings at Fort Howard!
Dan Waszelewski, Baltimore