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D.C.’s Eisenhower Memorial breaks ground

Frank Gehry’s new memorial in the nation’s capital will feature bronze statues and a tapestry with an image of Normandy, France

Rendering via Frank Gehry

It’s finally happening. This Thursday, famed architect Frank Gehry’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial broke ground after several years of designing and bickering. The Washington Business Journal reported that the $150 million project hopes to open by 2020. Originally, the plan was to have the memorial finished in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2019.

The site is bounded by 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. It is only one block away from the National Mall and four blocks away from the U.S. Capitol.

Once complete, the memorial will display a 15-by-3-foot tapestry made of stainless steel cables, which will showcase a “peacetime image” of Normandy, France. There will also be bronze statues of Eisenhower in different phases of his life.

Previous versions of the memorial design involved having the tapestry feature an image of Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower’s hometown. The first time the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) gave the project final approval was in July 2015, but at the time, the Eisenhower family did not give support to the design.

The Eisenhower family previously compared the memorial park design to that of a concentration camp and scenes from Planet of the Apes. The family eventually gave their support to the revised design in September 2016.

The contractor behind the project is Clark Construction, whose past projects include the National Museum of African American History & Culture and the Museum of the Bible

Eisenhower Memorial to break ground [Washington Business Journal]

Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial receives final approval—again [Curbed DC]