reCyclorama
The Campaign to Save Richard Neutra's
Cyclorama Building at Gettysburg

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The Low Down on the Future of the Cyclorama...

The National Park Service, a federal agency known for its stewardship of our greatest natural and cultural resources, is determined to demolish one of its own historic structures. Supported by the Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, the Park Service has approved a plan to destroy the Richard Neutra-designed Cyclorama Building without considering re-use or preservation alternatives and despite the protestations of architects, preservation professionals, and noted historians.

The demolition is a key component of the recently approved general management plan for Gettysburg National Military Park. Under the approved plan, Robert Kinsley and his company Kinsley Construction (an enormous private development firm) would tear down this valuable cultural resource located within walking distance of the town of Gettysburg and construct a massive new structure over a mile away, complete with expansive parking lots, on previously undisturbed battlefield land within the Park Service boundaries. This plan goes against everything the Park Service stands for--prevention of urban sprawl, sustainable use of agricultural land, and the preservation of historic structures.

Many members of Congress are wary of this new plan for Gettysburg as well. Representative James Hansen (R-Utah), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands, urged Bruce Babbit, then Secretary of the Interior, to withdraw the Gettysburg General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement pending further investigation, referring to the plan as "fatally flawed" and a "subversion of the public process."

Numerous architects, professionals, and organizations have endorsed preservation of the Cyclorama Building. J. Carter Brown, Chairman, Commission of Fine Arts, and Terence Riley, Chief Curator of Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, wrote to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation during the Section 106 process. Thomas S. Hines, Professor of History and Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles and noted Neutra scholar, lent his support during the National Register of Historic Places determination. William McDonough, architect, named a "Hero for the Planet" by Time Magazine in February 1999, and Robert A.M. Stern, architect and Dean at the Yale School of Architecture, penned letters in support of the National Historic Landmark nomination for the Cyclorama.

You can contribute to this dialog! We are urging all those involved n to rescind their previous approval of the Gettysburg National Military Park General Management Plan until such time as the Park Service can demonstrate that it has carefully considered the contextual history of the Cyclorama Building and alternatives to its demolition.

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This site composed and administered by Christine Madrid French, cmf@mission66.com.