Monday, January 11, 2010
Fort Benjamin Harrison - then and now
The official name is Fort Benjamin Harrison and was an U.S. Army post on the NE side of Indianapolis named after President Benjamin Harrison since this was his hometown. The Fort saw it's highest level of activity during WW I&II.
In 1947 the Army declared it as surplus property but did not completely close the facility due to the lack of adequate training space for the National Guard.
1948-50 it functioned as the Benjamin Harrison Air Force Base.
1970's-1995 it was location of the Interservice Postal School
1987 - site of Athletes Village for the 1987 Pan American Games
Fort Benjamin Harrison was closed as part of the 1996 Base Closure and Realignment Commission. The site has been redeveloped and now includes residential neighborhoods, a public golf course and Fort Harrison State Park.
Although the base was officially inactivated, there is still a significant military presence. The Defence Finance and Accounting Service, several Army Reserve and Indiana National Guard units, Post Exchange and Commissary are still located on the grounds.
Former officer housing and barracks have been rehabilitated for private use. Since much of the grounds were kept in a natural state during the Army's stewardship of the base, it was an easy transition to turn those grounds into a State Park.
Having a state park in the capital city makes it easily accessible to more people.