Eisenhower granddaughters react to Gehry memorial design7:31 PM Mon, Oct 10, 2011 | Permalink
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The photo above was taken of Dwight David Eisenhower (center, with legs spread) when he was 17, and may represent the only image of the great general, president and patriot on the memorial proposed for Washington's National Mall by Frank Gehry.
The National Archives last Wednesday hosted a public discussion of the Gehry design. The public reaction was negative. The meeting also revealed the existence of a letter of concern regarding the design, including a call for a pause in the design process, from three of General Eisenhower's granddaughters, who have followed the design process closely.
The letter has not been made public, and has been seen, apparently, only by the Eisenhower Memorial Committee overseeing the design work and by Philip Kennicott, an architectural writer for The Washington Post, whose report on the meeting is here.
I am trying to find out what's in that letter.
I wrote a column on this issue last July in which I asked whether the general's family would make known their feelings about the Gehry proposal. This was after the winners of a alternative design competition sponsored by the National Civic Art Society were announced. Read it here. The NCAS is leading the fight against the Gehry proposal. The NCAS believes as I do that such a "memorial" would do little to honor Eisenhower.
Below is the latest proposed design by Gehry for the memorial.
Below is one of the alternative designs sponsored by the NCAS, by Michael Franck and Rodney Mims Cook.