Eisenhower Memorial Update

The Eisenhower grandchildren gave their official response to the latest round of design changes to the proposed Eisenhower Memorial, which came from Frank Gehry’s office earlier this month. It’s distressing to see Interior Secretary Ken Salazar call for slowing the process down, which is exactly what the Eisenhower family wants. It’s distressing to see the Obama administration put the 34th President’s grandchildren in the position of vetoing the work of one of this country’s greatest architects. But the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, and Gehry, have been¬†¬†very gentlemanly about this process, rising above Susan Eisenhower’s invocation of Hitler’s death camps and Stalinist design in an effort to tarnish Gehry’s work. And they are once again attempting to address the family’s concerns and move the process forward. That probably sets a bad precedent in the future for empowering distant family members to determine the shape of what should be public monuments and memorials. But it is the well-mannered thing to do and is no doubt the politically expedient course of action. We’ll see if it works.

Credit: Image courtesy of Gehry Parterns, LLP, May 2012

1 Comment

Filed under Architecture, Memorials, Uncategorized, urban design

One response to “Eisenhower Memorial Update

  1. c a clark

    The Eisenhower Memorial Commission has been anything but gentlemanly in this process. The commission co-chair and staff have insulted the family endlessly over the years, in person and in public. Gehry has become truly pleasant recently, but Gehry is involved in many law suits not because he’s a perfect gentleman. He’s been described as a ranting emotional bully. (Ask the folks from The Rouse Co who fired him as a shopping center architect- “launching” his career- or ask the Corcoran people about that fiasco). Maybe Mr. Kennicott will be happy if the commission and the memorial are renamed for Gehry instead. Would 4 acres for a Gehry Memorial be enough of an honor?
    And, by the way , please identify the memorial that has been built when family members opposed it- None. Which explains why the commision and Gehry Partners have, belatedly, become more accommodating. If some respect,instead of arrogance and disdain, had been shown over the years, maybe all this ridiculous nonsense could have been avoided.
    p.s. As a grandfather, I don’t think many people consider their children and grandchildren “distant relatives” :-)

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