Friday, April 12, 2013

Preparation for the 150th at Gettysburg

Warm weather has finally come to Gettysburg and whether or not we skip Spring is still to be decided.  Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to touch 83 degrees which makes everyone here wonder!  That being said, the National Park Service and the town really need all that Spring time that's available to continue preparing for the gargantuan crowd that is expected during the 150th Anniversary week here at Gettysburg from June 29 to July 7.  Estimates... which are just the expected gathering for the week at nearly half a million people.  If you have not booked a hotel, you probably will have to sleep in your car!

Here are some photos from the projects going on around the battlefield in preparation for the big event.
Work on the Cyclorama demolition project continues and the progress has been very good.

The proposed path from Pleasanton Avenue up to Meade's Headquarters, then connecting to the Visitor's Center, is also under way.  There have been problems in years past with people walking along that narrow stretch of Taneytown Road, obviously very dangerous.  This is a very necessary project that is finally started and will be greatly important during high traffic periods.

The NPS has also painted up some of the old interpretive signs along with cleaning some of the grimier monuments.  Here is the sign near The Angle showing the Pettigrew assault with fresh paint!

Work on the park's law enforcement headquarters is also underway.  Restoration was started on the facade of the Guinn House by park staff.  The building is a historic structure and was on the field in 1863, although not in its present state.  It appears as though new siding, windows and a fresh coat of paint are the order of the day.

The old concrete "Gettysburg National Military Park" signs at the Cemetery Parking lot were removed as well.

Monument cleaning continues around the park as well...the 30th PA - 1st Reserves Monument just got a bath...

The 11th Massachusetts Monument finally stands as its former glorious self!  Vandalism that left three monuments (Smith's Battery, 114th PA and 11th MA) badly damaged in 2006 is finally rectified!  The 11th Mass. Monument was the last of the three to be fixed.  The arm atop the monument was pulled down and destroyed by vandals and the NPS was able to recast the piece to return to the monument top.  Also, the bronze sword and hilt were damaged, but luckily there were spares available.  All this came with a significant price tag which is why the rehabilitation took so long, but finally on the 11th day of April, the 11th Mass. Monument was returned to its original state!

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