Eisenhower Update

There’s yet more action. The desire of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to see models and meet with the Eisenhower family and architect Frank Gehry has effectively put a stop (temporary, one hopes) to the approvals process for the memorial. There are a lot of unknowns, whether the Eisenhowers are using political pressure on the Obama administration (denied by Susan Eisenhower and Salazar’s office), or if Salazar is merely trying to be a peace maker, or is worried about this coming back to bite him and the National Park Service if everything isn’t smoothed out now. In any case, the usual judgements apply: The Eisenhower Family is being accorded undue influence over a public memorial; the process so far has included a competition conducted according to established and respected government rules; it has already received unanimous approval by the bi-partisan Eisenhower Memorial Commission (including early on grandson David Eisenhower), and enthusiastic preliminary approval from the Commission of Fine Arts. The Eisenhowers will likely try to grind down Gehry, delaying the process and demanding the evisceration of one of the most interesting, innovative and exciting memorial designs since Maya Lin gave us the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Washington is so predictable.

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1 Comment

Filed under Architecture, Memorials

One response to “Eisenhower Update

  1. Michael Curtis

    Please: Grind down Gehry; let him blow away like dust in the wind. Perhaps you understand that grumpy, old modernism is a bore. Your modernism is old, unloved, and mostly ugly in concept and in fact. Old, so it will soon die; unloved, so it will fade away; ugly, it is merely the punch-line to a joke.

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