Today I received my new copy of The Gettysburg Quarterly, published by the National Park Service. Of special interest to everyone following the current rehabilitation of the battlefield is the building of the new Visitor Center and Cyclorama off of Hunt Avenue. This issue had an article on the Cemetery Ridge reclamation once the current VC/Cyc buildings are removed – and I hadn’t fully appreciated the scope and cost of it until now:
* The over 43-acre project area includes historic houses, barns, fences, stone walls, and orchards, as well as more than 70 monuments.
* Seven of the monuments near the Cyclorama building were moved during the construction of the building in the 1960’s (I wasn’t previously aware of that). This project will put those monuments back in their original locations, where the veterans dedicated them. One can appreciate the difference in interpretive value, for those of us who didn’t see them in their original locations…
* 6,700 feet of overhead utility lines along Taneytown Road will be buried (yay!)
* The total project cost is $9,588,694. The Gettysburg Foundation will provide $7 million of that, and the NPS is asking Congress for the balance.
Those of us watching the tree clearings closely are remarking how the Gettysburg of today is such a different battlefield than what we’ve been used to, and I can’t wait to see the Cemetery Ridge/Zeigler Grove areas reclamed – and those monuments back in their original places.