Dispute over Ike memorial
Eisenhower family members voice concerns over design
A dispute over a memorial design featuring a statue of President Eisenhower as a barefoot boy is threatening to delay construction of a national memorial to the 34th president and leader of the Allied forces in World War II.
A congressional subcommittee is set to hear testimony Tuesday on the design of the memorial, which had been scheduled for completion by Memorial Day 2015 on a four-acre plot between the National Air and Space Museum and the U.S. Department of Education.
The design features a park area and stone panels engraved with portraits from Eisenhower’s military and political careers set off by 80-foot columns supporting woven metal tapestries depicting scenes from his Kansas upbringing.
But vocal opposition to the memorial’s design, led by Eisenhower family members, has threatened to derail the $100 million project in large part because the lone statue inside the memorial area depicts Eisenhower as a boy.
Supporters say the design, by renowned contemporary architect Frank Gehry, was meant to capture the arc of Eisenhower’s life, from humble beginnings in Abilene, Kan., to his service in the military and the presidency.
Members of the Eisenhower family object to portraying him as a barefoot boy amid humble circumstances as an unnecessary dwelling on matters other than Eisenhower’s adult achievements, such as de-
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, leader of Allied forces in World War II, watches maneuvers on a miniature tank range somewhere in Britain in 1944.
Renowned architect Frank Gehry talks in October about his concept for an Eisenhower memorial to be built near the National Mall in Washington.