As we wrote in an update to a post from last week, it appears as though Frank Gehry‘s latest meeting with the National Capital Planning Commission didn’t go as well as he’d likely hoped. The famous architect had been there to discuss some recent updates to his plans for the Dwight Eisenhower Memorial (namely adding story-telling, metal-engraved tapestries), which is set to be built on a four-acre site just across from the Air and Space Museum, changes we believed he’d made to help increase enthusiasm and grease the wheels a bit in getting the project finally approved (he’d landed the commission more than two years ago after all). Instead, Gehry suffered a number of hits. The Washington Post reports that the NCPC is still very concerned about the memorial blocking the view of the Capitol and shared worries that the proposed tapestries didn’t tell enough of the former President’s life story and/or would block sunlight filtering into the Department of Education building. And perhaps the toughest hit of all came from the Eisenhower family, who have issued a statement calling for the whole approval to come to a stand-still while everyone can essentially collect their thoughts about the whole project, and idea we’re sure Gehry and even members of the NCPC aren’t entirely keen to. Here’s a bit of that from the Post:
Signed by Eisenhower granddaughters Anne, Susan and Mary Jean Eisenhower, their statement expressed gratitude to Congress and the White House for their support of the memorial but called for a timeout in the approval process. “We feel that now is the time to get these elements right — before any final design approvals are given and before any ground is broken.”
…Daniel J. Feil, executive architect for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, said that his organization would defer comment on the Eisenhower sisters’ statement but that David Eisenhower, the brother of Anne, Susan and Mary Jean, is a commission member and supports the design. David Eisenhower could not be reached for comment.