Gettysburg, that small rural town in Adams County, Pennsylvania which once was the site of the largest battle of the civil war, seems destined to always be fighting about something. From chopping down trees to “restore the battle appearance” to whether or not to add casinos, those folks sure know how to disagree.
More recently it’s the fight between the man who wanted to leave the governing body for a bigger position, which he was not permitted to do.
Lately it’s the Licensed Battlefield Guides, a stellar group of tour directors (and directresses) who are also in an adversarial position.
If that were not enough, there’s a new battle brewin’ on the old camp ground —- whether or not the old cyclorama building can be destroyed, in the ongoing emphasis to “restore the sight lines” of the original battlefield.
The cyclorama building, a large circular structure, was built years ago to handle the enormous circular painting depicting the battle. Several years ago in 2007 the painting itself was removed from the walls and put into storage until the new Visitors Center could be completed. During that time, the cyclorama painting was restored and further conserved, and its apperance in the new VC has received kudoes from everyone who sees it. There may be some nit pickers here and there, the guides rush you through, there is not enough room to stand, etc., but on balance everyone who sees it is convinced it is a marvelous work.
But — what to do with the old, now unused cyclorama building??? Once plans had been made to demolish it, in stepped various governmental agencies, including the EPA, to file suit in 2006 to prevent it. And then responses were filed by the would-be destroyers, and so the battle rages.
Apparently at least two private individuals have land on which the old building could be stored and perhaps displayed (an empty building??? My goodness what an idea.) But the newly restored cyclorama painting may need restoring again before all the suits are completed.
And so the latest bellicose factions again renew activities at the site of a famous battle. Maybe it’s something in the water.