Ike’s son unlikely to like
In his op-ed on the National Eisenhower Memorial, former Sen. Bob Dole suggests that John S.D. Eisenhower, the late president’s son, would have been proud to attend the opening of the memorial were he alive to see it (“Honoring a general and a president,” Web, June 4). However, this is unlikely to have been the case since John Eisenhower was an opponent of Frank Gehry’s grandiose proposal. He wrote in a letter that “the scope and scale of [Gehry’s design] is too extravagant and it attempts to do too much. On the one hand it presumes a great deal of prior knowledge of history on the part of the average viewer. On the other, it tries to tell multiple stories. In my opinion, that is best left to museums.”
John Eisenhower requested that his father instead be commemorated “with an Eisenhower Square that is a green open space with a simple statue in the middle.” This is a far cry from Gehry’s $150-million gargantuan design, which features a 400-foot-long steel “tapestry” upheld by pillars 80 feet tall and 10 feet wide. The design is so big it could fit two of the Lincoln Memorial. This is not something John Eisenhower would have been proud of.
JUSTIN SHUBOW President, National Civic Art Society Washington