The deed is done. Richard Neutra’s Gettysburg Cyclorama, the building the architect’s son Dion Neutra threatened to chain himself to amid mounting support for its demolition, has officially been reduced to a giant pile of rubble. The 1962 structure, marked by its concrete rotunda designed to house artist Paul Philippoteaux’s wrap-around 377-foot painting of Pickett’s Charge, is currently undergoing a long and painful death that will likely extend into late April, as Superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park Bob Kirby informed The Evening Sun. The effort to restore the site to its historic battlefield conditions prior to Neutra’s modernist intervention will not take place until early July. The demolition unsurprisingly attracted throngs of gleeful onlookers, but for many architecture enthusiasts, the images of Neutra’s pure geometries reduced to detritus are tragic reminders of the need to shore up preservation efforts for an endangered chapter in architectural history.
Photo via flickr.
- Kelly Chan