The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Architect maintains key pieces of Eisenhower Memorial design, despite objections

  • Print

WASHINGTON - Architect Frank Gehry is maintaining key elements of his design for a memorial honouring President Dwight D. Eisenhower near the National Mall in a revised concept presented Thursday, despite recent criticism from a federal arts panel and outside groups.

Gehry's Los Angeles-based team presented revisions to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, but the changes were limited primarily to the landscape design, adding 74 trees to a planned memorial park.

Gehry has designed a park framed by large metal tapestries depicting the Kansas landscape of Eisenhower's boyhood home. Statues of Ike as president and World War II general would stand at the centre. The tapestries, though, have drawn some of the harshest criticism from Eisenhower's family and others.

The Commission of Fine Arts, which oversees art and architecture in the nation's capital, has praised Gehry's "artistic vision of the memorial" and the "monumental stainless steel tapestries." But the panel has questioned the design's clarity and suggested some tapestries should be eliminated. In November, several members objected to the towering columns and two side tapestries in Gehry's design.

Gehry made no changes in response, though, and did not attend Thursday's meeting. Craig Webb of Gehry's firm said the tapestries would evoke Eisenhower's values and spirit of modesty by showing his Midwest roots, as well as unify the space at the urban memorial site.

"We are staying with the overall big ideas for the project," he said.

Commissioners on Thursday generally favoured the landscape design changes and didn't comment further on Gehry's tapestries or press for changes.

"I think the landscape, which is what we are here to talk about today, has moved along in a positive way," said commission Chairman Earl A. Powell III, who is director of the National Gallery of Art.

The commission's feedback on the memorial's progress was positive overall, said Chris Cimko, a spokeswoman for the federal Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

"We look forward to continuing our discussion and refining the project on our way to final approval from the Commission of Fine Arts," she said.

Others said the architect's uncompromising stance on the design has cost the project support from the Eisenhower family and in Congress. In the most recent federal budget, Congress eliminated funding to build the memorial.

Bruce Cole, the newest member of the federal Eisenhower Memorial Commission and a critic of Gehry's design, said there has been no discussion among commissioners on making changes.

"My feeling about this is that the larger issues are not trees," he said, "but whether they will ever get enough appropriated money to build this thing."

___

Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat .

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Kevin Cheveldayoff announces Maurice contract extension

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a
  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google