On-line Book
Cover book to Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park. [Image of cannon in the battlefield]
Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park


Table of Contents




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

current topic Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11


Appendix I

Appendix II

Appendix III

Appendix IV

Appendix V (omitted from on-line edition)

Appendix VI

Appendix VII

Appendix VIII

Chapter 7
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Great America in Manassas


"We intend to honor or celebrate the great things that make the United States," proclaimed Marriott official David L. Brown in a congressional oversight hearing in 1973 when he described the Great America theme park his corporation planned to build adjacent to the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Guests would have the opportunity to participate in living history and become involved in things that played a part in the development of the United States. Skeptics feared the entertainment complex would produce a "carnival atmosphere" next to the battlefield. As Congressman John Seiberling pointedly remarked when touring the battlefield, Marriott wanted to replace an "authentic piece" of American history with "something that's fake." Eying the promise of increased tax revenues, more jobs, and a boosted local economy, many Prince William county residents, including a voting majority on the board of county supervisors, embraced Marriott's proposal. [1]

The Marriott theme park proposal confronted the Park Service with questions central to historic preservation in an age of rapid change. These questions would reverberate years later when a shopping mall and a Disney theme park, among other projects, were proposed for the area. What say did the NPS have over the development of lands adjacent to national parks? How could the Park Service protect the lands in its care while also respecting the decisions of local communities? Left unresolved in the 1970s was the question of whether the Marriott tract, known to have historical significance to the Second Battle of Manassas, should be annexed to the national park. As indicated in this and subsequent chapters, Park Service officials consistently addressed land development outside the Manassas battlefield park's boundaries on a case-by-case basis. Little attempt was made to act proactively and set an agenda for the future.

CONTINUED continued


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