In the end, it apparently takes a whole lot to topple a famous architect and his heavy pillars. After months of discussion, and an increasingly vocal group of family members speaking out against the project, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission has released a statement (pdf) of full support behind Frank Gehry, who designed the national tribute, set to be built (someday) in Washington DC’s National Mall. As early as last week, Susan Eisenhower, the former president’s granddaughter, had spoken at a congressional hearing, asking for a redesign. However, it was to no avail, at least to the Commission, who write in their statement that they “will work to address the outstanding issues that remain” but seemed to waiver not a touch when it came to Gehry’s plans:
We confirm our selection of him, confirm our enthusiastic endorsement of his design concept, and express our regret and sadness at the tone and nature of the selected comments that have been made on Mr. Gehry’s design for the memorial.
The whole debate hasn’t ended here though. The National Capital Planning Commission, which we learned from the lengthy battle over the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial can sometimes be a tricky group to work with, will have the final say on Gehry’s design. Onward with the battle!