Dis­pute over Ike me­mo­rial

Eisen­hower fam­ily mem­bers voice con­cerns over de­sign

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY CHRISTY ARMSTRONG

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.

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