MARIGOT–The Collectivité of St. Martin has been working on the Fort Louis restoration and development project since 2017, when project management studies began.
After the preliminary study phase (2016) and the various calls for tenders required to carry out this project (2016-2017), the TERH-Caribbean company began the safeguarding work under the direction of Pierre Bortolussi, chief architect of the historic monuments.
The project, led by Director of Territorial Archives and Heritage Stéphanie Dargaud, has been divided into several operational phases: this phase of work is therefore the first in a series that will continue until the complete restoration of the ruins of Fort Louis and a total redevelopment of the site are completed.
One of the objectives of the project is to offer the necessary infrastructure to better welcome the public, thus enhancing a major site for tourism. An essential prerequisite before any restoration consists of safeguarding the structures built in place and limiting or even halting their current deterioration due to various factors. This work will last four months.
The work is carried out in the open. The Collectivité therefore wishes to remind the public that vigilance and safety are required on this natural and steep site. Depending on the progress of the work, some parts may not be accessible and closed with yellow tape.
Fort Louis is protected as an historic monument: it is one of the three monuments, legally described as “historic monuments” of French St. Martin, along with the former barracks in Marigot, a former prison, and the engraved rock of Moho.
This monument and its natural site has a beautiful view over the bay of Marigot. This heritage space deserves the attention to preserve it and pass it on to future generations. Ruins need special treatment to ensure the safety of all. New infrastructure will complete the site to give a welcome adapted to tourist frequentation on a fragile heritage site.
A reception centre will be created to offer several suitable spaces for a shop, a cafeteria, sanitary facilities and management of entrances and visitor flows. Finally, a space of about 80 seats, reserved for shows or other events, is under study on the site.
Several phases will contribute to the success of the project: emergency safeguarding work (in progress), restoration work, fitting-out work for reception and event areas, development work on surrounding roads, and work and installation of signage on the site.
This work is conducted and financed by the Collectivité of St. Martin with the support of the Préfecture of St. Martin and St. Barths (Contrat de Développement) and Direction des Affaires Culturelles de Guadeloupe.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74725-restoration-of-fort-louis-by-the-collectivite-underway