BALTIMORE (WJZ)–One of the most historic sites in the Baltimore area, Fort Howard, now stands in ruin.

But as Mike Schuh reports, the spot where the British invaded in 1812, will soon be the home of a half billion dollar town center.

The grounds became important in the American Revolution. The British invaded there before their defeat. Later it became Fort Howard.

The famous General George MacArthur lived there. Now, nearby chimneys host birds of prey, and the key to MacArthur’s front door is a screwdriver.

With World War II came the VA Hospital. It closed nine years ago.  Time has not been kind to Fort Howard.

“This beautiful building here was officers’ quarters,” said developer, Tim Munshell.

Now the developer has big plans–1,300 to 1,500 duplexes, condos, apartments, a hospital and shopping center will fill the 3/4 mile site.

“It’s a city. It’s a community, but it’s a compressed community. Everything is here,” Munshell said.

While renovation and reuse is admirable, the VA is leasing the land to be re-developed because of who benefits from the transformation.

“This community is open to vets of all ages,” Munshell said.

The small town is to be built at the former veterans hospital. It will be opened initially to veterans old and young, high and low income. Veterans like Theo Bell.

“I’ll sum it up for you in one word: respect,” he said.

They served their country. Now they’ll live together in a place designed just for them. And if that’s not enough, the site is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Chesapeake.

“This is their creation; this is what they told us they wanted,” Munshell said.

Comments (28)
  1. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

    In East Baltimore, in this economy….MWAHAHAHAHAHA good luck with that..

    1. j says:

      Um that is not East Baltimore-it’s in Baltimore County quite a distance from East Baltimore

  2. Alisha says:

    It would be much more nice as a park with all the trees left as is but oh well, not everyone gives a frig about wildlife.

    1. Lee Bowling says:


  3. Robert Beaty says:

    Raelene this is an update to the Star Spangled Banner.

  4. Vince says:

    Preserve the site like any other historical site. Turn the property over to the MD State Park Service and make it part of the NorthPoint State Park. Honor the veterans with monuments and preservation not a development. Anyone who ever seen this community knows this is not the place for a town center at the end of a one way in and one way out ,2 lane dead end street.

  5. Rob B says:

    Will this include the park area where you can go fishing and crabbing, bike riding and walking, climb around on the old jail cells and forts? Will the park be gone or will that park stay??

    1. Rob B says:

      No what, the park will not stay or the park will not be included in the building?

  6. Dwayne Talkington says:

    There already is parks just outside of Fort Howard, There is Fort Howard Park, Shallow River Park and North Point State Park, Hart-Miller Island State Park all right there within a mile or two of each other. The real problem Alisha is people like you want to complain about a project being done for the people who defend your rights and your freedom. Look at the drawings there are plenty of trees, fields of them being left there.

    1. JW says:

      Understood but there is no place for wildlife now cause of the buildings everywhere,problem with this development is more people ,more traffic, and b4 u know it everyone will complain about the park and the dungeons,That is the real problem here! i do admire what the vets did for my freedom, but now look at our childrens freedom. my personal opinion i think it should be petitioned !

      1. Lee Youngworth says:

        There is only one small road into Fort Howard and this is going to destroy the entire community. If you really think this is going to the Veterans you are dreaming. This is about developing property and most of all this is about MONEY. There is no way this company is going to put money into this if they aren’t going to get a lot out of it. The real estate market is in a shambles and who is going to have the money to buy there. the site is absolutely beautiful with beautiful sunsets if you want to see it.I thought that they was another company that was going to develop the site andwhat happen to them?

    2. lsw says:

      Dwayne, it’s being done for the benefit of the developer. Here’s a beautiful waterfront property owned by ALL taxpayers. If there wasn’t an opportunity to make money & receive taxpayer subsidy the developer wouldn’t be interested. Ft. Howard is no place for this kind of development. It’s just a way for the developer to get waterfront property with a taxpayer financed discount.

  7. joe shmoe says:

    they should do something with that whole sparrows point/ edgemere/ ft. howard pennisula. its a total dump. no sidewalks anywhere, companies are running form the area. run down homes. looks like an old abandoned coal mining town somewhere in west virginia

  8. jw says:

    About the money is the truth,they want to build ,build ,build but who ends up having to pay for it all, us the taxpayers, leave the historical grounds alone,if you want to develop something there , why not a park for the future of the us, the children.

  9. sven says:

    Have to agree with Lee, 1300 to 1500 new living spaces means a lot of traffic on that tiny road. Living out on the point of that peninsula would be quite attractive but way off of the beaten path. I always liked going out there for the quite and views but the problem with people like DWAYNE is they would rather see wildlife in zoos so more concrete structures can pollute our atmosphere.

  10. PAUL E. MICELLI says:


  11. Theresa says:

    Leave the Ft. Howard area alone or make it a State Park! The ONLY road leading into this area is already over crowded and the result of that is TOO many accidents, which alot of them are FATAL! More traffic would just lead to more accidents. This area is beutiful and deserves to be preserved for the people and wildlife to enjoy. After all, our veterans fought for this BEAUTIFUL Country so WHY ruin this piece of property with more buildings? Our verterans deserve Monuments,remembrance and peace, not a bunch of buildings blocking a beatiful view of the Chesapeake.

  12. Melissa says:

    Hi, I just would like to say that I would hate to see Ft. Howard turned into what the developer is proposing. I lived on the actual grounds in one of the officer’s quarters for years and it was beautiful. The hospital has since closed and most of the buildings are falling apart but I’d rather see that part to remember the history. I agree with the fact that something should be done with the property, but certainly not a newly developed community. It should be preserved the way it is and possibly be included in the State park right outside the grounds of the VA hospital. I understand the logic behind what the developers are claiming their intent to be, however I believe it’s a monetary interest above all. It’s not about the veterans to them. It’s about money, money, and more money! I certainly would love to see the poll of veterans who actually agree with tearing down Ft. Howard to turn it into a condo community……

  13. Erika says:

    As a current resident of North Point peninsula I am very concerned with the amount of cars 1200-1500 new households will produce. There is a two lane road on and off the peninsula. Does this developer have any plans address this issue.

  14. Amato P. Mongelluzzo says:


    I do not know of any connection with the American Revolutionary War. The site, however is where the British landed on Sept 12, 1814 and then proceeded to fight in the Battle of North Point.

    Fort Howard, however was not constructed until 1896. Hopefully if any construction does take place, any buildings of historic interest could be recycled . Unfortunately during the past years, they have greatly deteriorated. It may have been illegal to tear them because of any historic significance, however, they may have been demolished by neglect.

  15. emily says:

    I was born and raised in edgemere, it would be a catastophe if they actually allow this to happen. Not only is thier only one tiny road leading to ft howard but thier wouldnt be enough room in the schools. the high school and middleschool is one building, we’re a small community.

  16. mac says:

    To all the people who know nothing about ft howard edgemere millers island and sparrows point. I grew up 2 blocks from ft howard my mom worked in the hospital for 10 years and so did my great grandmother, my great grandfather was a soldier there as well my entire family has had some sort o connection for the VA hospital. Its would be a tragic even for these tight nit communities for this development. You walk in to foodlion on north point rd and you know everyone is the store the employees live in these ares as well this is a small close communities who come together when our neighbors are in need, not towsontown center. I grew up volunteering in the hospital eatin lunch in the canteen. It is a fantastic peaceful place. I agree that yes it needs to be restored as a hospital for our Veterans. My mom as since moved to the loch raven location where everyone is so rude and you dont know half the people who walk in that place, there isnt even a cafeteria in there loch raven location. Not only that but another writer on here wrote about the one way in one way out location aswell as many fatal accidents on north point rd. He/she is absolutly correct, every year there is atlease 5 accidents that happen on that rd and at lease 3 of them will be fatal. They literally shut down the rd for 4 hours to clear the scene not a joke seriously you cant come in or go out for any reason. If you took a pole from these communities they will by all means vote against it. For the person who said these houses are dumps let me tell you these houses are worth more then your life and more than you will ever be able to afford broken down or brand new. This is an old time mom and pop community that no one inside the city or surrounding areas will ever understand. I went to sparrows point middle and high school and we had a minimum of 30 students to one teacher in one class room and i graduated hs in 2006 i can only imagine what is is now. As far a park or what not it always has been a park with and without the hospital. We have alkinds of animals, fox deer turtles frogs snakes rabbits birds. it needs to be preserved and made a historical veterans living facility park and treatment area for vets and vets only. Look at all out homeless people who served in war and cant aford food and housing thats horrible the gov should be ashamed of itself.

  17. Mike S. says:

    Totally agree regarding the safety concerns related to the added traffic. The infrastructure in that area can not support such intense development and “saving the bay” is a complete joke if Baltimore County/state of Maryland allow this developer to pack more cars/pavement/pollution onto the peninsula.

    I’m also concerned about the boating safety implications of the ring of off-shore wind power generators depicted in the architect’s drawing. In the configuration shown, it could force recreational boat traffic futher towards the path of commercial shipping traffic near the dangerous area where the Brewerton Extension joins the Craighilll Upper Range.

  18. Michael says:

    No need for people to worry about any environmental impact. This project is never going to happen. Unless the developer has the cash in the bank to finance this project, it will never happen. $500 million! NOT in this economy or for the foreseeable future. Ft. Howard will sit empty for at least another 20 years.

  19. jennifer says:

    I just recently discovered this area…absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! I am a vet and agree that it should be preserved as a public park. It has enormous potential to be a phenomenal recreational area.

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