New Bill Seeks To Defund Eisenhower Memorial
A new bill in the House of Representatives would likely scuttle the controversial memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower opposed by the 34th president’s family.
The bill from the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee would cut all funding for the Eisenhower memorial due to objections about design and funding from the Memorial Commission. The bill, which was passed with bipartisan support by the subcommittee, zeroed out the suggested $2 million allocated to the commission.
“The Commission’s ongoing indifference to the views of the Eisenhower family, and the resulting lack of consensus on the memorial design, remain an area of significant concern. It is inconceivable and unacceptable to the Committee that a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower could be designed, approved, and built without the active support of the Eisenhower family,” says the report that accompanies the bill.
The Eisenhower commission’s first meeting and plans for the monument began in 1999. Ten years later, the Canadian post-modern architect Frank Gehry was chosen as the artist to create the design.
Gehry’s suggested design was a four-acre park, with massive towers and tapestries looming over a small, lone statue of a teenage Eisenhower.
Gehry’s suggested design were disliked by members of the Eisenhower family. Only 44 artists entered the heavily regulated competition, a small number in comparison with the hundreds of applicants for other national memorials.
Eisenhower’s grandson, the only family member on the memorial commission, resigned from the project in 2011.
“Legitimate issues raised by the Eisenhower family over the size, scope, and values reflected in the memorial’s design have been routinely disregarded even as the Commission has continued to aggressively pursue required project approvals. Accordingly, the Committee believes a ‘reset’ is necessary in order for the project to continue.” More