Federal Court Halts Demolition of Neutra's Gettysburg Cyclorama Center

Image Credits: 
Jack Boucher, 1962, National Park Service

A federal court has halted the National Park Service plan to demolish the 1961 Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander designed Cyclorama Building at Gettysburg.

In a comprehensive ruling, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld a challenge filed by the Recent Past Preservation Network, Christine Madrid French and Dion Neutra. The court held that the U.S. National Park Service failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) before deciding to tear down the historic building, and ordered the agency to consider alternatives to demolition.

 
The preservation advocates were represented pro bono by Nicholas Yost and Matthew Adams of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, a national law firm known for its work on NEPA issues. Mr. Adams was pleased with the ruling, saying “Two federal judges have now looked at this case, and both have concluded that the Park Service must comply with federal law before taking any action on the Cyclorama Center; hopefully, this will mark the end of the litigation process and the beginning of a productive discussion with the Park Service about how best to preserve the Cyclorama Center and the Gettysburg battlefield.”
 
Despite this favorable ruling, the future of the building is not secure.  To sign the petition to save Neutra's Cyclorama Center visit: www.mission66.com/cyclorama/savecyc.html.
 
To read more about the ruling click here for a PDF.

For more information on the history of the preservation effort and photographs of the Gettysburg Cyclorama Center visit: www.mission66.com/cyclorama.

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