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News April 2010

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Reprieve for Cyclorama Building at Gettysburg

April 1, 2010

On March 31, a federal judge in Washington ruled that the National Park Service did not follow procedure on the matter concerning Richard Neutra’s Cyclorama Building at Gettysburg, and that it must reconsider its 1999 decision to raze the building as it did not fully explore alternatives in making that decision. This ruling represents a significant victory for Modern preservationists who have been pitted against Civil War purists and their efforts to have the battlefield returned to its original appearance. The Cyclorama was built in 1961 to house a massive circular painting of the famous 1863 battle, which was removed in 2006 for restoration work. That same year the World Monuments Fund added the Cyclorama to its “List of 100 Most Endangered Sites” and the Modern architecture advocacy group the Recent Past Preservation Network filed a suit in U.S. District Court against the Park Service to prevent the demolition. The group, along with local community friends of the Cyclorama, advocate that the building be relocated instead.