the Cyclorama! Designed by Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander
in 1961 at Gettysburg, PA.
Sign the Petition to Save!
Update, September 2012:
National Park Service released a new Environmental Assessment
for the Cyclorama Building and accepted public comments through
September 2012. Although more inclusive, the EA did not adequately
address the future of the building, concluding that the National
Park Service should remove the building from the landscape. Copies
of the EA--entitled "Final Disposition of the Gettysburg
Cyclorama Building--are available on the Gettysburg National Military
Park Website at http://www.nps.gov/gett/parknews/cyclorama-center-ea-8-2012.htm.
official comments are now closed, you can still participate in
this effort. Write to your Congressional representative, and ask
that this building be preserved, and that Congress examine the
cultural resource protection policies at Gettysburg, which so
far have not adequately accommodated for buildings and structures
erected after the Civil War period. As part of the commemorative
era on the landscape, the Cyclorama is just one of more than 1400
monuments, cannons, and markers that help visitors interpret the
events of the three day battle, as well as provide a Cold War-era
landmark that illuminates how previous generations viewed the
lasting significance, and continued contributions, of the Civil
War in American history.
LAWSUIT - 2006-2008
Hogan rules in favor of the Plaintiffs! The NPS and the Department
of the Interior must comply with the National Environmental Policy
Act and cannot demolish the building at this time. The NPS is
contemplating whether to appeal this ruling. Friends of the Cyclorama
hope that the NPS will instead open their doors to new dialogue
and discussion about the future of this Neutra-designed building.
Service Agrees to Delay Demolition Until Lawsuit Resolution
See this letter from the U.S. Department of Justice for details
District Court to hear Cyclorama Case... Hearing
on Summary Judgment in the case of Recent Past Preservation Network,
et al, vs. Superintendent John Latschar, et. al. Sonnenschein
Nath and Rosenthal, LLP, a firm with 700 lawyers in 15 offices
in the U.S. and Europe, contributed their expertise pro bono
to the case on behalf of RPPN.
a PDF of the Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief,
filed in U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, December 2006.
the building stays on site or is moved to a new location, all
efforts should be put forth to keep this extraordinary visitor
center as an historic place for public learning and education.
Press Coverage of the Cyclorama
our new selection of measured drawings of the building on our
HABS Drawings page
downloadable PDFs of each image!
Businessmen Offer Land for Relocation of Cyclorama Center
Two Gettysburg businessmen have come forward with offers of open
land for relocation of the Cyclorama Center. Moving the building
is possible and should be considered over removal. Jerry
Matyiko, president and owner of Expert House Movers and member
of the International Association of Structural Movers,
has examined the building in connection to the RPPN lawsuit against
the Park Service.
his declaration, Mr. Matyiko stated that the building can be removed
from Ziegler’s Grove and relocated “using dolly wheels
and a grid of steel beams.” He estimated a cost of $5 million,
not including site work and preparation of the building.
the last forty years, Mr. Matyiko has moved a number of unlikely
structural candidates, including an airport terminal and a five-story
high theater. In 1989, his company relocated the Cape Hatteras
Lighthouse for the Park Service, a project later awarded the 2000
Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement by the American Society
of Civil Engineers. His
statement can be downloaded here. You can see more
of his work at http://www.experthousemovers.com.
Visitor Center is New Battle of Gettysburg from NPR
A new visitor's
center at Gettysburg National Military Park opens today. For the
first time since 2005, the public will be able to view the 1884
restored cyclorama painting of the battle. Meanwhile, the historic
home of the painting sits dark and vacant, igniting a battle over
preservation. WHYY's Arts and Culture reporter, Alex Schmidt paid
a visit to the historically and architecturally significant building
and has this story.
(PA) Daily Record Supports Wait-And-See for the Cyclorama Center
"What's the hurry to demolish the building?"
Only four historic cyclorama buildings exist in
the U.S.; two have been renovated for new uses and two continue
to display cyclorama paintings. Only one is in danger of demolition
-- Neutra's Cyclorama Building at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
the cycloramas of the U.S. here.
Recent Past Preservation Network Sues National Park Service to Prevent
Removal of Historic Building at Gettysburg
Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Recent Past Preservation Network, a non-profit
volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and understanding
of modern architecture, has sued the National Park Service to prevent
the agency from demolishing the historic Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania. The lawsuit, filed today in the United States District
Court for the District of Columbia, alleges multiple violations of the
National Environmental Policy Act and the national Historic Preservation
Act, and would prevent the Park Service from demolishing the Cyclorama
Center until the agency complies with federal law.
The Cyclorama Center was designed by the late architect Richard Neutra,
who is recognized by architectural historians and the popular press
alike as a master architect of modern design. Neutra’s buildings
stand alongside those of fellow architect and friend Frank Lloyd Wright
in the history of American architecture. Neutra’s contributions
to American design include some of the greatest works of architecture
in this country, such as the Lovell “Health” House in Los
Angeles and the Kauffman House in Palm Springs. In 1977, Neutra was
posthumously awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal,
an exclusive and prestigious award honoring his “lasting influence
on the theory and practice of architecture.”
The Cyclorama Center is a rare example of Neutra’s civic architecture
on the East Coast. The architect himself described it as the project
closest to his heart. In 1998, the Keeper of the National Register of
Historic Places declared the Cyclorama Center to be an historic structure,
concluding that the building possesses “exceptional historic and
The Park Service currently plans to demolish the Cyclorama Center as
part of an agency plan for the area of Gettysburg known as Ziegler’s
Grove. In 1999, the agency pledged to notify and involve the public
in any future changes to Ziegler’s Grove, and to comply with federal
environmental laws. Today’s lawsuit charges that the Park Service
has not kept these promises. Instead, the agency has determined to tear
down the Cyclorama Center without any public notice or involvement,
and in violation of two major federal laws protecting the environment.
The Recent Past Preservation Network hopes to persuade the Park Service
that the Cyclorama Center should be relocated, not destroyed. The group
has been working with the community and has received strong interest
in preserving and relocating the building within Gettysburg. The organization
has the support of a variety of businesses, property-owners, and developers,
and has even identified suitable land in town. However, the Park Service
has not responded to any letters or phone calls from the plaintiffs
in more than two years.
The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Dion Neutra, the architect son
and professional partner of Richard Neutra, and Christine Madrid French,
who has authored several published works on modern architecture in America’s
national parks. All three plaintiffs are represented, on a pro bono
basis, by the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP.
a PDF of the Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, filed
in U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, December 2006.
Gettysburg Cyclorama Center Selected for World Monuments Fund Watch
List of 100 Most Endangered Sites
week, at the 142nd anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, preservationists
are renewing their call for the restoration of the Cyclorama Center,
a premiere American modern building that overlooks the famous battlefield
and commemorates Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. On June 21, the
World Monuments Fund (WMF), the foremost private, non-profit organization
dedicated to the preservation of historic art and architecture worldwide,
included the imperiled Cyclorama Center at Gettysburg on its biennial
Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
have labored for nearly a decade to save this building, one of the
first "visitor centers" ever built in the national park
system and a landmark in the work of famed architect Richard Neutra.
The National Park Service, the primary public agency charged with
protecting significant American sites, has so far refused to preserve
the structure, one recognized by the U.S. National Register of Historic
Places for "its exceptional historic and architectural significance."
The Cyclorama Center remains on a short list for demolition; the Gettysburg
National Battlefield Museum Foundation, a private partner of the National
Park Service and headed by Robert Wilburn, plans to raze the structure.
Recent Past Preservation Network (RPPN), a non-profit, volunteer organization,
nominated the Cyclorama Center for inclusion on the World Monuments
Watch List, supported by preservation groups, such as DOCOMOMO and Preservation
Pennsylvania, as well as Dion Neutra, project architect for the Cyclorama
and head of the Neutra design firm, which celebrates its eightieth year
of service in 2006. Architectural historian Christine Madrid French,
president of RPPN and a Neutra scholar, hailed the Cyclorama Center's
listing as a major victory in the group's campaign to save the building
and raise public awareness for the preservation of postwar American
architecture. "We applaud the World Monuments Fund for recognizing
the significance of this building and highlighting the threat posed
to it by the National Park Service. In this case, we cannot cross our
fingers and hope for the best. The building needs strong advocates and
public support. With this listing in hand, we will urge the President
and the U.S. Congress to act in time to save this unique structure."
MORE INFORMATION HERE
of Interest : See
the Cyclorama From the Air with Virtual Globetrotter | Neutra
House Moved down Sunset Blvd in LA | Neutra
Los Altos Cottage Moved | Neutra's
VDL House v Hard Times |