Column: Build a real memorial to Eisenhower

Sculptural core of Frank Gehry's proposed Eisenhower memorial, in Washington. (Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

Sculptural core of Frank Gehry’s proposed Eisenhower memorial, in Washington. (Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

Winning entry by Daniel Cook in counter-competition sponsored by the National Civic Art Society.

Winning entry by Daniel Cook in counter-competition sponsored by the National Civic Art Society.

The horizon keeps receding for Frank Gehry’s notion of what a memorial to Dwight Eisenhower should look like. The other day his design was rejected by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) for narrowing the view corridor down Maryland Avenue to the U.S. Capitol.

Recently, the U.S. Congress slashed a $51 million request by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission (created by Congress in 1999) to $1 million, blocking money for construction and leaving the memorial commission with, as an editorial in The Weekly Standard put it, “barely enough money to pay the electric bill and tip the cleaning lady.”

The Eisenhower family has remained adamant that the gargantuan scale of the Gehry design violates the general’s personal sense of humility and that its features disrespect his military and political achievements.

To read the rest of this column, please visit The Providence Journal.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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