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

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News & Documents:

We are urging all those involved to rescind their previous approval of this ill-advised demolition.A renewed effort to save the building is underway, led by the Recent Past Preservation Network in cooperation with the Neutra Institute of Survival Through Design, DOCOMOMO U.S., and other allied organizations. This coalition of preservationists is calling upon key public officials, including Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, to "pardon" the building and provide funds for its restoration. Only public support can save this building now. Sign on here to save the Cyclorama!

The Low Down on the Future of the Cyclorama
The whole story in five paragraphs--check it out!

What Would Bloggers Do? Advice and outlook from bloggers around the world

Design Within Reach, Design Notes, Jeremy Stoner 2 January 2007

Mike's Civil War Musings 11 March 2007

George Wallace, attorney 7 December 2006

Determining the Significance of the Cyclorama Building
Read full text of the following documents and more...
Historic Resources Committee, American Institute of Architects (AIA), 1997 Resolution for preservation
National Register of Historic Places Determination of Eligibility
Section 106 Case Report: Cyclorama Building
National Historic Landmark Nomination, Denial, & Appeal

From Richard Longstreth, Society of Architectural Historians Appeal of NHL determination, to Fran Mainella, Director, NPS, 24 February 2004 "The failure of the National Park Service to recognize this building as a National Historic Landmark is without foundation. Furthermore, the loss of this building, which is scheduled for demolition in the foreseeable future, would constitute an impairment of the first order, in direct violation of the Park Service's stated mission..."
Link to PDF Image of Letter page 1 | page 2

Letters Supporting Preservation & Reuse of Neutra's Cyclorama Building
Full text and PDF copies of support Letters from Frank Gehry, Kevin Roche, Robert A.M. Stern and other prominent architects!

Press Coverage of Neutra's Cyclorama
Local, regional, and national publications have taken an interest in the future of the Cyclorama Building and the reluctance of the National Park Service to step forward to save this notable structure. Articles on the case appeared in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, U.S. News & World Report, Blueprints, and L.A. Architect. Link here for full references and cover photographs.

Related Documents & Interpretations

"Gettysburg Visitor Center: Too Old to Be Chic; Too Young to Be Revered" by Dion Neutra Download a PDF brochure with a history of this issue and photographs Reprinted from AIArchitecture, February 1998 with permission.

Landscape Preservation and Interpretation: Issues of Use, Historical Experience, and Myth at Gettysburg National Military Park. Excerpt of thesis by Nathan Jefferson Riddle (Columbia University, 1998). Critical analysis of National Park Service interpretive policies at Gettysburg NMP and the slanted perspective of the in-house-authored National Register Determination of Eligibility with special coverage of Neutra's Cyclorama Building (ca. 1961) and its place on the battlefield of Gettysburg.

"The Gettysburg park staff tendentiously approached writing the DOE with the intention of portraying the building’s mechanical and maintenance problems as inherent design flaws. The motive of the park service was to portray the building as a lesser, pitiful example of Neutra’s work, designed when he was in poor health and at the end of his partnership with Robert Alexander. Based upon an anti-modern conceit of the park Superintendent, the analysis is slanted and misleading. Latschar’s intentions and the arguments used to support his proposals pose dangers more general than to just Neutra’s building. The National Park Service acts as a preservation mentor for the nation, and in this regard, if the argument becomes accepted that the technical failings of a structure render that work of negligible significance, then the country would lose many cherished architectural icons." Read more...

Preservation Timeline of Events

Documents regarding the 1884 cyclorama painting, "Battle of Gettysburg" by Paul Dominique Philippoteaux

Conservation Considerations and Recommendations Regarding Exhibition of the Gettysburg Cyclorama Painting (Full-Text Document--Released by National Park Service, November 1998)

Links:

Richard and Dion Neutra, architects. This is the official web site of the still-in-service Neutra firm, now over seventy years old, sponsored by the Institute for Survival Through Design. Dion Neutra coordinates preservation efforts of historic Neutra buildings using this site. Cyclorama information on the Neutra site.

 

OLD NEWS

From the National Park Service: The Cyclorama Program, featuring the cyclorama painting of "Pickett's Charge" will close on November 20, 2005 to complete the painting's removal and rehabilitation. The fully restored painting will reopen in 2007-2008 with the opening of the new National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center. The Cyclorama Center will also close on November 20 and remain closed until April 2006, when it will reopen to the public and remain open through the spring and summer until mid-November, 2006, when it will close for the winter.

July 2005 - GETTYSBURG'S CYCLORAMA CENTER SELECTED FOR 2006 WORLD MONUMENTS FUND WATCH LIST OF 100 MOST ENDANGERED SITES
U.S. National Park Service Intends to Demolish Internationally Significant Building

This 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. More Information Here

June 2004....As seen in this week's L.A. Times Sunday magazine. The Cyclorama Building is slated for demolition by the National Park Service to make way for a conjectural "restoration" of the battlefield landscape. Architectural firm Neutra and Alexander designed the structure in 1961 as part of the commemorative celebration of the Battle of Gettysburg. The building was also a showpiece of the "Mission 66" program, a $1 billion effort to improve visitor facilities at the national parks. The National Register-listed Cyclorama Building is the only Neutra-designed structure east of the Mississippi open to the public and a unique late-period work of this master architect. Numerous architects, professionals, and organizations have endorsed preservation of the Cyclorama Building.

 


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This site composed and administered by Christine Madrid French 2004.