The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) plans on discussing three design modifications planned for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial on February 2 at 1 p.m.
Here’s what to expect from the memorial, as approved by the NCPC on July 9, 2015: a centrally located core, a large-scale (80 feet high and 447 feet in length) stainless steel tapestry, a monumental colonnade, two freestanding columns, pedestrian promenade, and a 2,400-square-foot, one-story information center.
The modifications include revisions to the tapestry image, the sculpture of young Dwight Eisenhower, and the canopy tree plan.
According to a letter sent from National Park Service Associate Regional Director Doug Jacobs to NCPC Director of Urban Design and Plan Review Diane Sullivan on December 22, 2016, the changes to the tapestry image will alter it from a composite view of Abilene, Kansas to a “peacetime image” of a Normandy, France beach. The location of the statue of the young Eisenhower will also be shifted, while four trees of the planting plan will be removed.
The project is located on a four-acre site that the NCPC approved in September 2006. It is only one block away from the National Mall and four blocks away from the U.S. Capitol. Its boundaries include Independence Avenue SW to the north, 4th Street SW to the east, 6th Street SW to the west, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Headquarters to the south.
The reasoning behind changing the tapestry image from Eisenhower’s hometown in Kansas to a contemporary scene in Normandy is to remember the sacrifices of D-Day. According to the Executive Director’s Recommendation, “The coast of Normandy remains a symbolic reminder of this key event that led to peace and shaped our nation’s history in the years that followed.”
By removing four canopy trees adjacent to the memorial core, that will also increase the views of the tapestry.
For the sculpture of young Eisenhower, it will be relocated from the “Memorial Overlook” to the LBJ Promenade near the Department of Education entrance. This is to “strengthen the thematic relationship between the memorial and the Department of Education,” according to the Executive Director’s Recommendation.
The sculpture will sit on a three-foot-tall wall with an inscription from Eisenhower’s Abilene Homecoming speech.
In order to see the meeting when it goes live, go to the NCPC’s website here.
Below, see the Executive Director’s Recommendation.