It appears that after a 14-year preservation battle, the National Park Service has finally confirmed their plans to demolish Richard Neutra‘s mid-century Cyclorama Center, a modernist structure, in Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg National Military Park. The main goal is to restore the site to its original appearance circa 1863 to mark the 150th anniversary commemoration of the well-known battle from the American Civil War. While it may be seen as a black-and-white (wow, that was an interesting pun) victory for Civil War purists and a loss for modernist architecture enthusiasts, it can be said that the true winner is the act of preservation of American History.
Under direction from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the National Park Service was to see if they use some “non-demolition alternatives” to further preserve the land by possibly moving the structure to another site or leave part of the building remaining. However, in the 200-page analysis, the park service decided that there was “no need for the continued use of the building” and that moving or leave part of the building would have “conflicted with the overall goals of the park.” NPS spokeswoman Katie Lawhon stated that “the site is a key portion of the Union battle line and is important to the public understanding of what happened here,” and that Neutra’s Cyclorama building was “a disruption to that.” The private Gettysburg Foundation will cover the $3.8 million demolition, which is scheduled to begin as early as February (also known as NEXT MONTH).
[Thanks The Philadelphia Inquirer]