Frank Gehry Updates Plans for Eisenhower Memorial, Adds Engraved Tapestries

If we’ve learned anything from the recent opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, it’s that it takes a long time and a lot of work to get a national monument up and standing in Washington DC (and even once it’s standing, all those labors and controversies don’t necessarily immediately dissipate). In a move this week to perhaps help smooth that rocky road, Frank Gehry has introduced a few changes to his Eisenhower Memorial, his first monument in the city. Having landed the commission two years ago, at which time we were told that his plans might not just change the way we think about memorials, but of Gehry’s talents as well, the architect has undergone a handful of skirmishes with the National Capital Planning Commission, having to revise his original plans several times in order to meet their exacting standards. Yesterday, Gehry met with the NCPC to introduce the idea of forging a sort of engraved tapestry onto the large pillars that make up the memorial. No word on what exactly the images will be yet, but as the Washington Post speculates, they are likely to include pieces from the former President’s life, from growing up in Kansas to commanding military forces in World War II. This being government, we’re certain the NCPC will need some time to think this new plan through (the next design review meeting is scheduled for “late 2011 or early 2012”). What’s more, on top of that, we’re assuming that the commission and the architect are still working through the revisions proposed earlier this year, which focused on trying to make the memorial block less of the view of the nearby Capitol.

Update: Looks like things didn’t go as well as Mr. Gehry might have hoped.

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