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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.


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!!!

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