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Frank Gehry's revised Eisenhower Memorial design clears another hurdle

Frank Gehry's revised Eisenhower Memorial design clears another hurdle
This image shows an aerial perspective of Eisenhower Square looking along Maryland Avenue, SW and Independence Avenue in Washington. (Gehry Partners)

The long-planned Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington cleared another hurdle this week when the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts voted to approve architect Frank Gehry's revised design for the project.

Earlier this month, Gehry's new design received approval from the National Capital Planning Commission.

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The Eisenhower Memorial Commission, a bipartisan group heading up the project, said in a release on Thursday that with these approvals in hand, it is ready to break ground in 2015.

Gehry's design still faces funding issues in Congress. The project, which has faced opposition from members of the Eisenhower family, is expected to be paid for with both public and private money and has an estimated price tag of more than $100 million.

On Thursday, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts requested the design team to return with more detail about the plan's landscaping, statuary, pathways and lighting, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Gehry has removed two stainless steel tapestries from the design -- the source of much debate among decision makers. But the Post reported that the revision retains two free-standing columns whereas previously, four columns supported the two tapestries.

The architect wasn't present at Thursday's meeting but said in a statement: "Capturing the life and legacy of one of the greatest figures of the 20th century has been a unique honor. I appreciate the approval given by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts today."

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT

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