Housing Complex

The Eisenhower Commission Doesn’t Want to Hear Your Bellyaching

In the wake of last week's bludgeoning before a congressional oversight committee, the folks in charge of designing and building the Eisenhower Memorial have issued a statement of "total and unqualified support" for architect Frank Gehry's vision:

Frank Gehry has followed the direction provided to him by this commission. He has also consulted with the Eisenhower Family. His design for the Memorial is exciting, creative, and inspiring. It captures the life and the spirit–and commemorates the historic achievements—of Dwight Eisenhower as one of the greatest generals in human history and one of our finest presidents.

We are fortunate that the most celebrated architect in the world competed for this project. Frank Gehry has been a loyal soldier in our effort. We confirm our selection of him, confirm our enthusiastic enorsement of his design concept, and express our regret and sadness at the tone and nature of th eselected comments that have been made on Mr. Gehry's design for the memorial.

...As Eisenhower himself said, "For our republic to stay free those among us with the rare gift of artistry must be able to freely use their talent."

Which means that they're not backing down, and that Congress will have to withhold funding if it wants to change anything.

Oh, and add prominent architecture critic Witold Rybczynski to the pro-Gehry column.

  • RT

    Please withhold funding for this monstrosity. It's the worst of all worlds... not classic, not innovative, just sort of lifeless and bizarre. Who would want to hang out near this... thing? It could very well be worse than what's there, which at least has some greenery in an otherwise concrete jungle.

  • John

    It is too large and ugly, don't build it. These momuments are getting too large and taking up so much space, as if there won't be a need for more in the future. This one does not seem to relate to Eisenhower as a person. Back to the drafting boards with this one.

  • Anonymous

    They competed this work and chose Frank Gehry - arguably the worlds best living architect.

    I assume that others are suggesting that we end up with another monument park with some white marble and a bunch of quotes?

    This city is stuck in the mud.

  • RT

    Anon- no marble or quotes. Take a look at the FDR memorial for what a real, tasteful, interest memorial feels like. This is... the L'Enfant Plaza of Memorials. Which may be fitting since it is right beside L'Enfant Plaza.

    As for Gehry, I don't care what his name is- this sucks. Great QBs have bad games, great artists have the occasional clunker. Are you one of those who is an apologist for certain art and architecture just because a certain painter or architect did it?

  • http://alexblock.net Alex B.

    How about some memorials that are also great public spaces?

    FDR is an interesting memorial, but that's not the kind of space that can evolve over time the way that Dupont Circle has.

    It doesn't have to be marble or classical, but it ought to work.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Mr T in DC

    Well, let's withhold funding then! The arrogance of the architect and designers is clear. That they would force this ugly monstrosity onto a city and nation that has clearly expressed an interest in coming up with a better design is astounding.

    "His design for the Memorial is exciting, creative, and inspiring. It captures the life and the spirit–and commemorates the historic achievements—of Dwight Eisenhower " Just because they say it in a press release doesn't make any of it true. Fire the lot of them, reappoint a new memorial commission, start from scratch with a new competition and make it an open and transparent process. And ban Gehry from entering! :)

  • Cara Shockley ANC6D02

    It reminds me of Speers' design for a post victory Unter den Linden Strasse. It's not just ugly; it's insulting to Eisenhower's accomplishments.

  • Liz

    So tired of the hyper-critical negativity about everything all of the time. Why does everyone hate everything so much? Why can't things like this just be celebrated for their greatness?

    I just looked at the design and I think it looks fantastic. It's not a monstrosity. It's not ugly. It's interesting and grand. A place for people to gather and learn more about Eisenhower. It's going to be awesome to have yet another wonderful monument in this beautiful, amazing city. People will come, sit, marvel. Joggers and walkers will have another interesting route to take. We'll all have another reason to be proud to live here!!!