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Thread: Demolition of the old Cyclorama building in Gettysburg

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Spring Hill, FL
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    3,851

    Default Demolition of the old Cyclorama building in Gettysburg

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...402_story.html

    Looks like it's going to happen...
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Shenandoah Valley
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    All well and good for battlefield preservation but as historians you shouldn't scoff at it's importance as an historical architectural artifact... There is always a second side..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Tuskaloosa, Alabama
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    4,185

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    Interesting to see that the electric map was sold to a local developer.

    I'd read the open bid description at the time it was offered and figured we'd see that map again.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



    Moderator, When I remember. We got Rules here!



  4. #4

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    I'm really sad to see it go. When that building was new, it was beautiful. It displayed the painting in a dramatic way, and preserved it for fifty years. I believe the reason they located it right in Zeigler's Grove is that it was only a matter of yards away from where Phillippauteaux (sp?) had the scafford where he did his study, took photos for reference, etc. So you were viewing the cyclorama from pretty much the same spot that the painter painted it. They used to give a guided tour that went out the upper exit in the gallery, and walked along the observation deck after viewing the painting. It made a big impression on me when I was a lad in the single digits. It was very sad to see the state of disrepair that the building was allowed to deteriorate to in the years since it was vacated. The Visitor's Center was a piece of my childhood that, alas, is now gone.
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  5. #5
    anvtjm Guest

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    Hi,
    I have been to Gettysburg several times and each time I go there I see something new. I recently went back to Gettysburg and noticed the transformation that the old location of the museum has went through. It definately looks really different having the buildings removed from the area. The new museum is open and easy to walk through compared to the tight space of the old. I cant wait to go back. -TJM 9th Ky, CSA

  6. #6

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    The new museum is awesome! I really enjoyed it. The galleries are a little busy - a bit like walking around on the inside of a website - but did a much better job of setting te war and battle in context than anything that was done previously. Since many people see Gettysburg as the "Visitor's Center for the Civil War" I think that's a good thing. I didn't care for the film preceeding the cyclorama presentation because I thought it was reaching to make connections that were a little out of context and tenuous. the cyclorama is absolutely awe-inspiring. I would never get tired of seeing that!
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Near Gettysburg PA
    Posts
    119

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    I don't expect to miss the Cyclorama building, as I could never understand why it was considered attractive. I do miss the old visitor's center as I used to stop there periodically to educate my eye on the materials in the displays. I guess that all the items that they used to display in the old visitor's center is in storage somewhere; I very much miss the opportunity to look at it.
    David Einhorn, Author of the book titled, "Civil War Blacksmithing" available from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Blac...+blacksmithing

  8. #8
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    Jan 2007
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    Shenandoah Valley
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    Most of the items are on display in the new visitors center.

  9. #9

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    The old visitor's center (the cyclorama center) was designed as a state of the art archetectural statement in the late 1950s. When it was new, it was really a thing of beauty. The bright white exterior walls, flat roof, square part of the building contrasting with the round cyclorama theater were a bold statement. Museums looked like small town libraries back then. A fresh look bridged the gap between the past and the present, as if saying "the Civil War still matters." (Things like putting it on top of a battlefield landmark just didn't occur to folks back then. See my first post for why it was located there.) The interior of the building gleamed with polished granite. It was built to handle big crowds, and was prety successful at it. Unfortunately, like most ultra-modern buildings of its time, it didn't age well. I think the roof leaked for most of the last 40 years. That look of modernity became highly dated and rather than speaking of an optimistic, modern future, just said "tired old government building." It was worn out, obsolete, and in the wrong place; but it's still a shame to see it gone. Plus it preserved a great work of art for 40+ years, facilitating millions of viewings. The cyclorama would have been rat dung if it had remained in it's round barn. Now what I really think is funny, is that when they demolished the old electric map building (the visitor's center by the big parking lot) they did such a thorough job that it's wiped clean from the face of the earth. No trace. If you didn't know there'd been a building there, you wouldn't guess. Yet they left the brown informational sign at the site proclaiming "This building has been permanently closed." I guess so! Closed in Vogon fashion!
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Near Gettysburg PA
    Posts
    119

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
    Most of the items are on display in the new visitors center.
    Other locals and myself went through the new visitors center before they started charging for admission, and we could not find/see more than a small portion of the materials from the old visitors center on display. All the camp stuff was gone, most of the uniforms were gone, the display of cannon barrels was gone, the large display of guns was gone.

    At the old visitors' center parking was next to the building and it was easy to get from the parking lot to the entrance. At the new visitor center, by the time I reached the door after struggling to transverse strips of swamp, I was done in.

    I and other locals whom I have talked to enjoyed the old visitor center. I *really* don't like the new one.
    David Einhorn, Author of the book titled, "Civil War Blacksmithing" available from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Blac...+blacksmithing

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