Owners of razed Gettysburg tower awarded $4 Million
A federal judge is ordering the National Park Service to pay $4 million to the owners of an observation tower that once stood near Gettysburg National Military Park.
The federal government took the land by eminent domain in 2000 and demolished the steel structure as part of a campaign to restore the area to the way it looked during the Civil War.
Landowner Hans Engrenn, a 77-year-old resident of New Oxford, says he's relieved but he and his wife could have had fun with the money ten years ago.
The award will be split between the Engrenns and Overview Limited Partnership, which was principally owned by Thomas Ottenstein, the tower's creator.
Ottenstein called the 393-foot National Tower, which opened in 1974 and afforded tourists an aerial view of the historic battlefield, a "classroom in the sky."
But historians and preservationists considered it an ugly modern intrusion, and started the campaign to have it removed. Ottenstein died a month after the demolition.
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