Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, has a detailed report out on the situation facing the proposed memorial for Dwight Eisenhower designed by Frank Gehry. “House Appropriators Call for ‘Reset’ on Eisenhower Memorial Plans” paints a picture of a memorial process in disarray, and a memorial proposal on death’s doorstep, but a memorial commission still desperately clinging to funds for its staff.
But this report also seems to contradict hopeful speculation that the commission’s new chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, might work to hurry the process by stopping the punch-drunk commission from dithering away the public’s money – already $60 million has been sunk. Roll Call suggests, rather, that Roberts has drunk the Gehry Kool-Aid. I wonder what his constituents think! The Eisenhower family is dead-set against the Gehry design, but that hasn’t carried any weight with the commission so far.
Roll Call notes the commission’s embarrassing private fundraising effort that has cost taxpayers $1.5 million over four years but has raised only $450,000.
It’s way past time for Congress to torpedo this clunker. Taking away the Gehry “tapestries” that mar the design would drive Gehry away from the project. That sounds like a good way to get the process back on track. By the way, check out the interesting design proposed by Howard Blackson, called “The Washington, D.C. Plan” and published by Placeshakers.
Here’s Artsy.net’s Gehry link: https://www.artsy.net/artist/frank-gehry