For Immediate Release: 10/02/00
Battlefield Preservation Groups Join Forces to Rescue Hallowed Ground at Gettysburg
(Gettysburg, Pa.) - Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg (FNPG) and the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) have joined forces to save a small but significant tract of land on Gettysburg battlefield. The one-half acre property is located at the intersection of Hunt Avenue and Baltimore Pike, near the site of Gettysburg National Military Park's (GNMP) proposed new visitor center.
"Consider this a preemptive strike," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "The site is located within a stone's throw of the planned new visitor center, making it an irresistible target for future development. We knew we had to act quickly - before the price tag skyrocketed beyond our reach."
"Preserving as much of the Baltimore Pike as possible is important to us and we are pleased that this partnership has protected this tract from development," noted FNPG Executive Director Vickey Monrean.
The tract, located at 1155 Baltimore Pike, is a prime location for commercial development. Although zoned residential, both FNPG and CWPT expected that efforts would be made to rezone it for commercial use. FNPG began negotiations for purchasing the site in 1999, eventually settling on $127,000 for this historically priceless property. CWPT is providing $64,800 toward the purchase, with FNPG contributing the remainder. Both groups intend to transfer ownership of the property to GNMP.
"This is a key location," observed Dr. John A. Latschar, Superintendent of GNMP. "Its purchase helps the common goals of the National Park Service and Cumberland Township in protecting the historic character of Baltimore Pike and by protecting the area from inappropriate development."
During the three-day battle of Gettysburg, Union artillery blasted Confederate positions from near the site. The property was occupied by elements of two regular army batteries, commanded by Lts. David H. Kinzie and Sylvanus T. Rugg, respectively. Because of the presence of Kinzie's battery on a knoll near the site, the area is often referred to as "Kinzie's Knoll." Latschar hopes that the site's proximity to the new visitor center will help GNMP "improve interpretation of the artillery positions on the knoll."
FNPG's mission is to support, protect and enhance, on behalf of all generations of American people, the resources associated with the National Parks at Gettysburg, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Eisenhower Farm. CWPT is dedicated to preserving our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and promoting appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. Both FNPG and CWPT are 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations.