Entertainment & Arts

Revised Eisenhower Memorial design gets preliminary approval

Eisenhower Memorial
An undated image provided by Gehry Partners shows an aerial perspective of Eisenhower Square looking along Maryland Avenue, SW and Independence Avenue in Washington.
(Gehry Partners LLP)

After years of setbacks and criticism, architect Frank Gehry has received some good news about the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington.

Gehry’s revised design for the much-contested project won preliminary approval from a key group on Thursday. The National Capital Planning Commission said its members voted 10-1 to approve the revision.

The commission is a 12-member group that oversees public planning in the nation’s capital. Earlier this year, the commission voted to reject Gehry’s original design, singling out the architect’s call for large, metal tapestries and the effect that those tapestries would have on the view to and from Capitol Hill.

The revised design for the memorial was shown to commission members in September. Gehry has removed the metal tapestries and made other changes to his design.

On Thursday, Gehry said in a prepared statement: “I’m grateful to the National Capital Planning Commission for its decision, and for its cooperative engagement in resolving the issues.”

The estimated price tag for the memorial stands at more than $100 million, with some funding expected to come from the federal government. Members of the Eisenhower family have been vocal about their disapproval of Gehry’s design, even after the changes.

The design still needs to go through additional levels of approval, including funding approval from Congress.