Congressmen Dan Lungren and Aaron Schock Call for Rejecting Eisenhower Memorial Design

Congressmen Dan Lungren and Aaron Schock

In a bold letter to the National Capital Planning Commission, Congressmen Dan Lungren (CA) and Aaron Schock (IL) have called for rejecting the Frank Gehry’s design for the Eisenhower Memorial.  In doing so, they join Representative Frank Wolf (VA), who also publicly opposes the terrible design.  They also join the entire Eisenhower family, who have been united in opposition to the design.

A transcription and image of the letter is below.  A full-size scan of the letter can be found here.

Chairman Preston Bryant
National Capital Planning Commission
401 9th St. NW
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Chairman Bryant,

As the Chairman and Member of the Committee on House Administration, the House committee charged with oversight of the Capitol Grounds, we write to express our concerns with the current plans for the President Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial to be built on the National Mall.  In both process and design, the proposed memorial does not adequately represent the life and achievements of Dwight Eisenhower.

The current design, which depicts him as a “barefoot boy” from Kansas rather than highlighting his influential roles and accomplishments as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War II and as the 34th President of the United States, is a contemporary design contrary to memorial architecture already on the National Mall.  This proposed design also runs a high risk of perpetual cost-increases due to its inordinate technological dependency.

The Eisenhower family is united in their opposition to the current design.  In both public statements and personal conversations, they have expressed sincere concerns with the scope and scale of the project.  What they seek, and what we agree with, is a more traditional design that truly depicts President Eisenhower’s character and accomplishments.  It is our feeling that the concerns of the family, as well as many others, should be given due consideration, and that the project should not be pushed through simply for the sake of meeting arbitrary deadlines.

A memorial that is meant to last for the ages deserves ample time to be done correctly.  Unfortunately, the memorial, as currently envisioned, does not adequately commemorate his accomplishments nor does it enjoy the necessary level of support to be accepted as a national tribute to General and President Eisenhower.  As students of this great individual, and as concerned members of Congress trying to be faithful stewards of our hallowed National Mall, we respectfully ask members of the Commission to reopen discussion on the design of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial and gain broad support of the public and the Eisenhower family before moving ahead with the project.


Daniel E. Lungren
Chairman, Committee on House Administration

Aaron Schock
Member, Committee on House Administration


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