National Park Service Proposes To Demolish Cyclorama Building At Gettysburg National Military Park

Three years after they first formally proposed tearing down the Cyclorama building that once housed a Civil War diorama, Gettysburg National Military Park officials have again announced their preference to do just that.

While the park's General Management Plan approved in 1999 called for the building to be razed, opposition put off a final decision. In March 2010 a federal judge ordered the Park Service to reassess its decision, this time by also considering other options for the building.

This week Gettysburg officials released an environmental assessment that considered a variety of options, but also cited as their preferred alternative the one that would remove the building from the military park. By doing so the park could better "rehabilitate North Cemetery Ridge to its historic 1863 and commemorative-era appearance," officials said.

The EA evaluates three alternatives: Alternative A: No-action: Mothballing of Cyclorama Building; Alternative B: Demolition and Removal of the Cyclorama Building (NPS Preferred); Alternative C: Relocation of the Cyclorama Building Outside the Park by a Non-NPS Entity.

The Cyclorama building became somewhat obsolete after the Cyclorama painting -- an elaborate depiction of Pickett's Charge up Cemetery Ridge -- was moved to the park's new visitor center back in 2008.

Members of the public are invited to comment on the EA through September 21. Comments may be posted electronically at this website. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail us or sent by U.S. Mail to Superintendent, Gettysburg National Military Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100, Gettysburg, PA 17325. All comments must include a name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, if applicable.

On Thursday, September 6, Gettysburg officials will accept EA comments at a public meeting of the park Advisory Commission. The meeting will be from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, Ford Education Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike.

Comments

I love Gettysburg. It has held a special place in my heart since I first went there when I was a little boy. It sparked my lifetime interest in the Civil War. I also have great Gettysburg memories with my wife and daughter. We enjoyed cyclorama in the cyclorama building. The building meant nothing to us. It is not part of the memories. Cyclorama-yes, the building-no. In 2010 my wife and I made a special trip to Gettysburg to see the new visitor center. We checked out the reconditioned cyclorama in its new digs. It was awesome. We talked about how much we liked the improvements, but not one time did we mention the old cyclorama building. The old cyclorama building has no battle significance. It was not a hosptial, it was not Meade's HQ, it was nothing. Tear it down and improve the acutal battlefield. Grass and trees will be a lot more enjoyable than a decaying building.

I say tear it down and reclaim the land! The building is an eyesore and does nothing to enhance a park visit. Let habitat for humanity or scrap dealers use what is usabler and clean up the area. While you are at it maybe cut the grass around the old parking lots as well. It is a sad blighted area as of right now

I totally agree with Chip. I have the memories also but not of that building.

The last time I was in Gettysburg I saw that building and thought to myself "That's still standing?"

Tear it down. Improve the area with the battle in mind.

My husband and I are frequent visitors to Gettysburg. I remember being in that building as a kid. The building itself is no longer needed and has become quite an eyesore in an otherwise lovely town.

They saved the cyclorama. the building is now empty. It has no real historic value. Tear it down.

I am a local and have lived in Gettysburg all my life. The building can come down. However, the parking lots should be advertised and utilized as free parking, for those walking Steinwher Ave and with frequent stops of the trolley for those headed downtown. This could eliminate a lot of traffic!

My family and I were in Gettysburg for the 2012 Memorial Day weekend. All four adults in our group commented on how deteriorated the building was, and how it appeared as an embarrassing eyesore. If it was built specifically to house the cyclorama, it would probably be very expensive to re-fit the inside of the building for another purpose, and it was not part of the battlefield so I can't imagine what real "historical" value the building has relative to the reason that folks from all over the world are drawn to the town.

Tear it down, the sooner the better,quit wasting time and money talking about it already!!!

I haven't been to Gettysburg, but if the building itself has no historical value then I say it needs to go. I would perfer going and seeing the field the way it was when the battle was fought. I've been to Manassas and I remember visitors asking why the soldiers didn't just hide behind the trees, buildings, whatever had sprung up since the Civil War.

The Gettysburg Battlefield is hallowed ground, and as such, every part should be respected and presented to the public as a memorial to the soldiers who stuggled there, and the ideals for which they faught. My wife and I are frequent visitors to Gettysburg. A part of our heats are here. Preserving and restoring the ground to it's 1863 appearance is an important part of fulfilling the purpose of the park. The old Cyclorama building no longer serves any credible function. It has become an expensive eyesoar, and a hideous distraction from this important story. It needs to go the way of the old visitor's center. It is simply the right thing to do.

Is this some kind of club membership response to this article? It must be a first - everyone writing in as one person to destroy the building. Very very unusual.

For those of us who have never been to Gettsburg, a photo of the building, and why and when the building was built, would be interesting. Can the building not be refurbished and repurposed? If it is such a new structure, why would the NPS be reluctant to destroy it? There is a distinct lack of info here for those of us ignorant of the situation.

Tear it down

i recently visited the new museum and the aarea where the painting was. it was very impressive but i could not follow it as well as the exhibit in the cyclorama where the lights lit up and showed the different stages of battle....apparently my brain does not work in the same way as the people who think all things new are awesome. Really both exhibits are good just presented in different ways. If you cannot afford to keep the old building it is a shame it has no usefulness to those making the dec isions.