In July 2015, the planned Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial cleared the final federal hurdle by gaining approval from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) in a 9-1 vote. Afterwards, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission made additional tweaks to the design, causing the project to need another vote of approval from the NCPC. DCist reports that the NCPC recently gave their vote, and the project is approved once more.
From the beginning, Gehry has faced opposition on his design, even from the Eisenhower family. The family described the memorial park design to that of a concentration camp and scenes from Planet of the Apes. The Eisenhower family finally gave their support to the revised design in September 2016.
The NCPC first approved the concept design in October 2014. Previous designs for the memorial included large metal tapestries on both ends of the park. When the proposal to eliminate these tapestries was brought up, Gehry threatened to remove his name from the project.
The current design involves a 15-by-3-foot tapestry made of stainless steel cables, which will showcase a “peacetime image” of Normandy, France. Previously, the tapestry featured an image of Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower’s hometown. There will also be bronze statues of Eisenhower in different phases of his life.
The contractor for the project is Bethesda-based Clark Construction. Past projects completed by Clark Construction include the National Museum of African American History & Culture and the Museum of the Bible.
The memorial will be 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 Eisenhower Memorial Commission has already collected between $2 million to $4.99 million from Taiwan and corporations as well as an additional $45 million in funding from Congress, as reported by DCist. Still, the Commission is working to raise approximately $25 million in private funding. It will also request another $41 million from Congress this year.
DCist further reported that there will be a “ceremonial groundbreaking” on November 2 at 10 a.m.
• Eisenhower Memorial Gets Final Approval [DCist]