Back to the Drawing Board for Eisenhower Memorial Design

The National Capital Planning Commission voted this week to reject a design by Gehry Partners for a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower planned for the National Mall in the nation’s capital.
Dariush M / Shutterstock

Katherine Boyle reported for the Washington Post that the National Capital Planning Commission “voted 7 to 3 to disapprove the design and building plans for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial.”

“The commission accepted the NCPC executive director’s recommendation that Gehry Partners’ design be amended because of the proposed size, scale and configuration of the large columns and tapestries on the four-acre site in Southwest Washington.”

According to the director’s recommendation, “the design did not adhere to design principles put forth by the commission, obstructing views of the Capitol along Maryland Avenue,” reports Boyle.

David Ng also reported on the decision for the Los Angeles Times, providing additonal details about why the commission rejected the design. “The commission…also requested that the memorial's backers revise the design to better accommodate pedestrian traffic, public lighting and other factors.” In fact, “[descendants] of the late president have expressed the wish that the memorial focus more on his political and military accomplishments.”

For the New York Times, Robin Pogrebin provides a final bit of insight about how the design process has delayed the delivery of the Eisenhower Memorial. “When Mr. Gehry’s design was selected in 2010, groundbreaking was planned for August 2012. But the schedule has been repeatedly delayed while the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, which is spearheading the project, attempts to address concerns raised by the design’s detractors.”

Full Story: Planning commission goes to war with Gehry Partners over Eisenhower Memorial design


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