Cyclorama Building, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
|Location||Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Date||1959 to 1962|
|Building Type||Government Building|
|Street Address||125 Taneytown Road, Adams County Walk Score|
|Notes||At the Gettysburg National Military Park. Originally named National Park Service Visitor Center. Also called the Cyclorama Center and to a lesser extent Cyclorama Visitor Center.|
|Client||National Park Service|
The Cyclorama Building was designed by Richard Neutra in 1961 to house an 1883 cyclorama painting of the Battle of Gettysburg. The building was also intended as a visitor information center. The building is composed of a long, rectangular wing of offices and a multi-story cylindrical exhibition space. The two masses, stand along a single east-west axis and are functionally separated by the building's glass-enclosed entry. The main approach to the building is generally perpendicular to the main axis.
Citing flaws in the building's design, the National Park Service has gradually minimized the building's use. In 1971, the visitor information center functions were transferred to another location. And in 1996, the NPS announced its intent to remove the cyclorama painting and ultimately demolish Neutra's building. The new facility, once again unifying the visitor center and cyclorama functions opened in the Spring of 2008.
In 1998, the National Register of Historic Places issued a ruling on the building's eligibility for registration. At that time, the building was determined to be eligible on multiple bases. However, the building was not protected with a listing at that time, based in large part upon the NPS argument against listing.
Since the building's site itself is part of the historic grounds of the Battle of Gettysburg, it has been determined that the earlier, and greater significance of the battle site trumps that of Neutra's building. The NPS therefore considers restoration of the site's pre-building condition to be the higher act of preservation.
With the apparent active support of Dion Neutra, AIA, son of Richard Neutra, a group of preservationists and Neutra supporters is currently petitioning to spare the Cyclorama Building from demolition.
The building was documented in detail by the Historic American Buildings Survey after the NPS announced its intent to demolish the structure.
In 2010, a judge ordered the National Park Service to undertake a study with the goal of considering alternative uses for the Cyclorama Building. In August 2012, that NPS study found that the best "the best course of action would be to demolish the Cyclorama building."
- David Owen. Google Maps printed to PDF. Archival capture of satellite imagery depicting the Cyclorama Building on its Gettysburg, Pennsylvania site. 2008.0530.
- NPS says demolish Gettysburg Cyclorama building - Sacramento Bee, 2012.0829s
- Richard Neutra’s 1962 Gettysburg Cyclorama building gets stay of execution - BD, 2008.1110
- "Preserving Cultural Landscapes", by Richard Longstreth, ArchitectureWeek No. 383, 2008.0604, p C1.1