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Frank Gehry Finally Catches a Break, Lands Eisenhower Memorial Project


After a rough couple of weeks with leaky buildings, loose tongues, and buildings chopped in half, starchitect Frank Gehry finally had something go right for him this week with the announcement that he’d been selected for the commission to build the national memorial to Dwight Eisenhower in Washington DC, his first project there. According to the Washington Post, he’ll have full reign over the roughly four acre site and a budget somewhere between $90 and $120 million (meaning it’ll likely end up in the $200 million ballpark). Here’s a bit about the location:

The memorial is planned for a four-acre site on Independence Avenue between Fourth and Sixth streets SW. The land is one block off the Mall, across from the National Air and Space Museum. The commission has asked for a landscaped civic plaza that would serve two roles, with both a memorial and open space.

For an alternate, John Silber-esque take on all of this, we recommend reading Beatus Est‘s thoughts on the new memorial, which says monument this will likely wind up being more Gehry’s tribute to himself (a charge often leveled at modern starchitects) and will have little to do with honoring Eisenhower or Washington itself. So strongly do they feel about this, they’re even hosting a competition to design a counter proposal to whatever Gehry comes up with.

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