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In The Sights of Civil War Purists and Going Down

Gettysburg’s Richard Neutra Designed Cyclorama Building in the sights of a Civil War Cannon

This picture of Gettysburg’s Richard Neutra designed Cyclorama Building in the sights of a Civil War cannon is appropriate considering federal court clearing the way this week for the demolition of this building.  The historic building preservationists lost their long battle to save or repurpose the structure.

A week ago I wrote about a Dallastown Soldier buried in Gettysburg National Cemetery.  When I first searched for his grave location at least 15-years ago I overheard two tourists dressed in Civil War uniforms declaring, “They should have never buried non-Civil War Veterans in this cemetery, they should be on the other side of the wall.”


I think that soldiers who serve our country were rightfully allowed burial along the edges of the original part of the Gettysburg National Cemetery; therefore I’m not a Civil War purist in that light.  However I am in favor of the demolition of the Cyclorama Building in order to restore the Cemetery Ridge area to an appearance closer to the look during the battle; therefore I am a Civil War purist in that light.

What is your opinion on either issue?

Mechanical Equipment Room in Gettysburg’s Richard Neutra Designed Cyclorama Building

At the same time, I’m also disappointed that the Cyclorama Building will be coming down.  I have fond memories of visiting this building as a child, not just from the historical aspect.  Yorkaire Cooling and Heating Sales Company installed the mechanical equipment in this building.  My Dad, Harold L. Smith, was an owner and General Manager of this Mechanical Contracting Company located on Whiteford Road in Springettsbury Township.

Whenever our family traveled to Gettysburg, my Dad always proudly noted their role in building the Cyclorama.  I also remember a comment by one of his business partners while I was along when they did a last minute check of their work prior to final inspection.  George Sprenkle noted something to the effect, “It’s great to work on these types of buildings; because you know your work will stand forever.”

Related Gettysburg & Lincoln posts include:

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