Feb 21


The National Park Service is planning on “redoing” the Rostrum in the National Cemetery. The Rostrum was constructed in 1879, and was refurbished in 1979 for its 100th birthday. This view was taken facing northeast circa the early 1900s.

The Rostrum in Gettysburg’s National Cemetery is to be refurbished. The goal is to have it ready for a possible visit by the President of the United States on the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 2013.


The Rostrum is located near the Taneytown Road entrance to the Soldiers National Cemetery. This view was taken facing east at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


It was placed on the high ground at this end of the cemetery. A Union signal station was located a little farther to the right during the Battle of Gettysburg. This view was taken facing east at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


A variety of Presidents or future Presidents supposedly have spoken on the Rostrum, including Rutherford B. Hayes… This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 21 2011.


…Grover Cleveland… This view was taken facing north at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


…Theodore Roosevelt… This view was taken facing north circa 1910.


…William Howard Taft… This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


…Calvin Coolidge… This view by the Detroit Publishing Company was taken facing northwest circa 1903.


… Herbert Hoover…This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


…Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934)… This view by William Tipton was taken facing northwest circa the late 1800s.


…Harry S Truman… This view was taken facing west at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 21 2011.


… Dwight D. Eisenhower… This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


…and Lyndon B. Johnson (when he was Vice President in 1963).This view was taken facing south at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


Other prominent speakers have included anchorman/broadcaster Tom Brokaw… This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 21 2011.


…and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. This view by Bain News Service was taken facing southeast circa 1910-1915.


So what does the Park Service mean by “redoing” the Rostrum? There are a couple of bricks that need to be re pointed. This view was taken facing south at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


When one with an untrained eye like we have steps up on the platform of the Rostrum, we don’t see any major flaws in the structure. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


The bricks that form the platform appear to us to be in pretty good shape. This view was taken facing east at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


The trellis might need to be replaced or repainted, but its not like there are vines hanging over it anymore. This view was taken facing west at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


Maybe the columns need some work? This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


It must depend on how extensively one wants to redo the platform. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke here in 1934, they certainly made some adjustments. This view courtesy of the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing northwest circa May, 1934.


Of course President Roosevelt was in a wheelchair, and there were accessibility accommodations that needed to be made, but there were also a lot of people who wanted to be on the platform with him. This view courtesy of the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing southwest circa May, 1934.


For popular speakers such as Roosevelt, that would draw large crowds, large speakers were also mounted on the additions to the Rostrum. This view courtesy of the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing southeast circa the 1950s.


When President Roosevelt spoke here and had this view in 1934, supposedly 100,000 people were crowded into and around the cemetery to hear him. This view was taken facing north at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


Of course if you don’t have a popular speaker, all the extra additions to the Rostrum appear to be overkill. This view courtesy of the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing south circa the 1950s.


If there’s not a big crowd, then the bunting on the Rostrum in its regular configuration, looks pretty good to us. This view courtesy of the Center for Civil War Photography, which has more than 1,000 historic Gettysburg Park images like these on their Flickr, was taken facing southeast circa the 1950s.


Now we certainly think that the parking areas for the old Visitor Center should be removed. But now that everything has been delayed so that we are two years away from the 150th Anniversary of the Battle, and now that you’re inviting the President to speak in the Cemetery, is this the best time to remove these parking spaces? This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


The old Cyclorama parking lot would have probably been for VIPs anyway, but many of these parking spaces are also going to be removed. We assume money allocated for these lots has to be spent soon, or it won’t be spent for a long time… This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


… but it looks like this could finally be a busy trolley stop. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday, February 20, 2011.


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