Friday, August 26, 2011
A view from the sky
The rest of our first day in Bangor was spent visiting Fort Knox, which includes the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory, located in The Fort Knox State Park.
The fort was originally planned to defend the river valley from the British. However funds were not available until 1844, when construction was started. The fort is the first and largest granite fort built in Maine. Named after Major General Henry Knox, the first Secretary of War, it is the finest example of granite fort construction in the USA. While it never saw hostile action, it was manned during the civil War and the Spanish American War. During the Civil War the troops actually lived outside the fort in tents since the fort was still a work in progress. What makes the fort unique is that it remains in its original condition. Most of the other remaining coastal forts have been modified to meet service needs in later conflicts.
Just a few hundred feet seaward of the fort is the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory. The new bridge was completed in Dec, 2006 and the observatory was done in May 2007. The observatory is 400 feet above the park area located in the vertical support column of the bridge. Taking the elevator up, you are rewarded with a 360 degree view from several levels. You have a great view of the river, bridge span and the town of Bucksport, Maine. This is the only bridge observatory in the United States and one of four in the world.