Planning Continues on Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial, NCPC Might Require Additional Revisions

Back in the spring of 2009, Frank Gehry seemed to be turning things around for himself, after a particularly rough patch there, what with leaks at MIT, his Beekman Tower in New York was running the risk of being trimmed way back (this was before it was renamed and wound up staying the course in terms of height), and the rumors that he was going to be removed from the Atlantic Yards project lingering, and would finally happen just two months later. The positive was that the architect had landed the coveted Dwight Eisenhower Memorial commission in DC, a $90 million project on four-acre site across from the Air and Space Museum. That news seemed to be the first of improved spirits for the architect, who has since had much more positive press (about the memorial project in particular) and much better luck. However, now two years later, the Eisenhower Memorial is already a bit behind schedule and the National Capital Planning Commission says there is still work to be done with the architect’s plans. Late this past week, the NCPC held a meeting to review Gehry’s three proposals (pdf). While uniformly positive about the plans, the Washington Examiner reports that there are still a number of concerns that the pillars, central to all three of the plans, “intrude too much on views of the nearby Capitol.” It doesn’t sound like they’re bothered enough to demand drastic changes, but as the project moves into preliminary and final design reviews, we’re sure that at least portions of Gehry’s original vision, however small or large, will wind up being altered in some way to keep the NCPC happy and the view of the Capitol building crystal clear.