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Thursday24 July 2014

Frank Gehry's designs for Eisenhower memorial approved by commission

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1.6ha monument planned for Washington DC

Frank Gehry’s designs for an Eisenhower memorial in Washington are to be retained, despite objections from the late US president’s family.

The Eisenhower Memorial Commission said it felt “regret and sadness at the tone and nature of the selected comments that have been made on Mr Gehry’s design for the memorial”.

The $112 million moment is planned for the National Mall in Washington and features 25m-high woven metal tapestries of photographs of grain silos and trees framing a memorial park filled with sycamores.

Gehry has revised the memorial once already because planners feared it would block views of the Capitol building.

But the descendents of the wartime leader have far more fundamental objections, disliking its emphasis on his rural childhood and its non-traditional appearance.

The statement follows a congressional hearing where granddaughter Susan Eisenhower told the committee: “[Eisenhower] would have wanted something on a more modest scale. We now believe that a redesign of this memorial will be necessary to be acceptable to the American people.”

The commission said Gehry’s design was “exciting, creative and inspiring” and that it “captures the life and the spirit, and commemorates the historic achievements, of Dwight Eisenhower”.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This is indeed a monstrosity. The huge columns, which have been likened to massive bollards, tower eight stories in the air and surround the site on three sides, like the largest billboards ever conceived. In a 100 years, if the memorial can last that long given its materials, the sycamore trees may have grown up enough to mask the hug mesh wall from inside the block, but from the outside this wall of concrete pylons and stainless steel mesh will continue to cramp the visitor into a street canyon. So unfortunate.

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