After almost two decades of planning and bickering between the National Capital Planning Commission, the architect and the Eisenhower family final approval for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial has been granted. The $150 million project, designed by architect Frank Gehry will begin construction on a 4-acre site between the National Air and Space Museum and the Lyndon B. Johnson Building.
From the beginning, Eisenhower’s descendants clashed with architect Frank Gehry’s design. In 2013 the memorial commission in an attempt to move along the project said that “the family deserves to be heard, but they do not deserve to be obeyed.” However, even after the Planning Commission gave final design approval, they continued to make tweaks until this past week.
The monument will feature Eisenhower Square, an urban park with a memorial in the center, and bronze statues of Eisenhower at various phases of his life sprinkled throughout, alongside some of his famous quotes.
There will also be a 15-by-3-foot transparent tapestry made of stainless steel cables, which was revised in this final design to preserve vistas to the nearby Johnson Building, where the Department of Education resides. While the tapestry once depicted Eisenhower’s Kansas hometown, it will now represent peacetime in Normandy, France, describing his time as a military general in World War II.
The memorial commission has scheduled a ceremonial groundbreaking on the site for November 2 at 10 a.m.
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