Atlanta’s under-appreciated Cyclorama is receiving a splash of attention as the Battle of At-lanta’s 150th anniversary approaches.
The Cyclorama, a 42-foot-tall semi-circular painting and diorama that depicts the Civil War battle of July 22, 1864, is among city holdings under consideration for sale, Creative Loafing re-cently reported. A commission appointed by Mayor Kasim Reed is making recommendations about unloading sites such as the Atlanta Civic Center, the paper said.
According to Creative Loafing, the Cyclorama has been appraised at $25 million. A sale of the Grant Park property would give a major boost to Reed’s plan to free $20 million from the city budget to help fund a proposed $250 million infrastructure bond program.
A new smartphone app depicting the battle, which led to Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman taking Atlanta from the Confederacy, will be unveiled at the Cyclorama at 7 p.m. on June 18, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Emory professor Allen Tullos and Civil War buff David Pollock developed the app, which gives an auto tour of battle landmarks. Smartphone users can get the app by punching in the URL battleatl.org, the AJC said.
Located at the edge of Grant Park, where the Atlanta Zoo is the main attraction, the Cyclorama goes through intermittent cycles of neglect and renewed interest. The 350-feet circumference “panorama,” created from 1885 to 1886 by German artists, is the centerpiece of a light show that illustrates the battle’s progress. Along with the painting, which has been at Grant Park since 1893 and moved to its present site in 1921, the diorama along the work’s base and a rotating auditorium give the illusion of being present at the battle.
In recent years, proposals have bubbled up to move the painting to the Atlanta History Center, or near other tourist attractions now congregating near Centennial Olympics Park down-town. A $21.1 million history center renovation apparently makes no provision for the Cyclorama.
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