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Gettysburg Museum

Gettysburg Museum
Gettysburg Museum & Visitor Center Highlights American History Using 21st Century Technology

New facility tells the story of landmark Civil War battlefield

Gettysburg National Military Park is one of America’s most revered historic sites. One of the bloodiest battles in our nation’s history was fought there, helping to turn the tide of the Civil War irrevocably to the Union forces. At the heart of today’s Gettysburg experience is the park’s Museum and Visitor Center, home to 300,000 Civil War artifacts and 700,000 archival items.

Between 1999 and 2008, a new Museum and Visitor Center was planned, funded, and built by the Gettysburg Foundation and the US National Park Service (NPS). The $135 million project included a complete Civil War museum, visitor information space, and restoration of the Gettysburg Cyclorama. The new facility is 139,000 square feet, including 24,000 SF of exhibit space. Voice, data, and video communications include a movie theater, computer resource room, five video galleries, interactive information kiosks, computerized cash registers, and telephone lines.

Network infrastructure for all of these technologies was a critical part of the design. The NPS and the Foundation knew they needed infrastructure that would last at least a decade, with the headroom to support successive generations of active equipment. With that in mind, they chose Leviton’s Category 6 110-style patch panels, 110 blocks, connectors, and patch cords to connect the POS terminals and back-office equipment throughout the building.

Brinjac Engineering was selected to design all of the building systems, including the telecommunications infrastructure. Chris Archer of Brinjac headed the Gettysburg project. “Architectural integrity and aesthetics were critical to the National Park Service and the Foundation,” Archer notes. “Leviton’s Cat 6 solutions offered state-of-the-art performance without detracting from the building’s sense of historic authenticity.”

Rich Simmons, the Foundation’s IT manager, concurs: “We’ve been totally satisfied with our Leviton equipment. Since we got everything up and running, it’s been completely maintenance-free, and easily supports our bandwidth needs.”

Gettysburg’s new Museum and Visitor Center opened in April 2008 to critical accolades and a flood of visitors. In its first full year of operation, the Museum and Visitor Center welcomed more than a million people to the Gettysburg battlefield area. The new facility, with its exhibits highlighting the battlefield’s history, will continue to deliver a rich educational experience to Gettysburg visitors for generations to come.