National Civic Art Society to Host Capitol Hill Briefing on Ike Memorial on July 18
Event Details: The National Civic Art Society cordially invites you to a luncheon briefing on the planned National Eisenhower Memorial. The briefing will cover the status of the imperiled design by Frank Gehry and the alternatives before Congress. Lunch will be provided.
Date: Friday, July 18, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (EDT)
Location: The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
The Congressional Conference Room (South) near CVC 266
East Capitol Street, NE, and First Street, SE, Washington, DC 20515
Speakers will include:
- The Hon. Bruce Cole, former Chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities, and a presidential appointee to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission.
- Justin Shubow, President of the National Civic Art Society.
- Catesby Leigh, author and art critic
Background: After 15 years and $40 million spent, the wildly unpopular design for the Eisenhower Memorial is on life support. Not a shovel of dirt has been turned, Congress zeroed all construction funding, and the National Capital Planning Commission denied preliminary approval. Most recently, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment voted to effectively eliminate the proposal altogether.
Designed by the fashionable “starchitect” Frank Gehry, the plan been criticized from all sides — including the Eisenhower family (see John Eisenhower’s letter here) as well as by numerous members of Congress, pundits, and art critics of all political and artistic orientations (see compilation here). Opponents of the design believe that a more traditional design selected by an open, democratic competition would cost far less and be completed faster.
Projected Cost for the Eisenhower Memorial: $150 million — and threatens to rise.
Those Invited to Attend: Members of the House and Senate and upper-level staff with responsibilities in the arts, public lands, GSA, the Park Service, and related agencies. (No interns please.) Also welcome are: Members and staff of the National Capital Planning Commission, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, concerned citizens, and the media.