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.