Fort Leavenworth North Main Post Area Development Plan | Kansas, US
Ben Zitelli, Louis Berger
Ben Zitelli, principal planner, Louis Berger
Fort Leavenworth was built in 1827 on the west bank of the Missouri River in modern-day Kansas. Instrumental in the country’s westward expansion, Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active U.S. Army post west of Washington, D.C. The fort’s National Historic Landmark District covers almost all of the North Main Post district and contains over 240 historic buildings, structures and objects.
From both operational and planning perspectives, a historic district this extensive creates serious challenges to implementing modern, sustainable development. The highly constrained historic district was in need of innovative historic resource management approaches, cost-effective maintenance solutions and stormwater management techniques.
Sponsored by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Louis Berger created the innovative North Main Post Area Development Plan (ADP) for Fort Leavenworth.
The planning process included geographic information system (GIS) analysis and a 4-day charrette, in which stakeholders walked the site to identify opportunities to improve pedestrian access to historic amenities and participated in brainstorming sessions that included analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), providing a framework for development that:
- Preserves and enhances the extensive National Historic Landmark District.
- Improves both vehicular and pedestrian transportation networks.
- Minimizes building footprint and supporting infrastructure, reducing maintenance costs.
- Provides landscape standards that integrate green infrastructure to minimize flooding, control erosion and protect stream corridors.
A key feature of creating a robust pedestrian network is the reuse of a picturesque historic trolley line as the backbone of a new multi-use trail system connecting all of the major mission, community and historic destinations.
The award-winning area development plan employs a transferable planning methodology based on an inclusive community engagement process that can be used at other historic installations to plan for preservation and enhancement of cultural resources.