Issa beats wimp rap?

Sculptural core of Gehry design for Eisenhower memorial, with main tapestry behind it. (Washington Post)

Sculptural core of Gehry design for Eisenhower memorial, with main tapestry behind it. (Washington Post)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). (

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). (

I may have to retract Rep. Darrell Issa’s Cosmic Wimp-Out Prize, doled out by this blog just a week or so ago.

My original post, “Ike memorial update,” described the latest iteration of Frank Gehry’s proposed memorial to General Eisenhower. Two of three “tapestries” and two of the four 80-foot posts needed to hold them up were lopped off, but the much larger third tapestry remained in place. My post quoted Issa as seeming to suggest that it might be appropriate to start the design process with a new, more open design competition for the memorial.

My next post, “Issa wimps out,” reflected information from a reader that my original post, which relied upon just one source, left out. The reader provided those important quotes from a story in the Washington Post. The quotes indicated that Issa was willing to let the Gehry design go forward after its most recent change. That was depressing news!

Now the Washington Post is reporting that Issa has sent the Eisenhower Memorial Commission a letter suggesting that it change the Gehry design again by removing the main tapestry and all of the towering posts. In this Issa-says/Darrell-says scenario, it is difficult to predict what will happen next. But confusion is better than certainty that this memorial insult to a great general and president might move forward.

I am pleased to restore at least some of my confidence in Darrell Issa, and await the next turn in this fascinating but excruciating architectural saga.

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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1 Response to Issa beats wimp rap?

  1. John says:

    Good news. Eisenhower’s memory is way too important to be left to this foolish man Gehry. (I’ve seen some of his work).


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