The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Long-debated Eisenhower Memorial design clears final federal hurdle

Architect Frank Gehry’s modified design for the National Eisenhower Memorial received final approval from the National Capital Planning Commission Thursday, the final step in the federal approval process that has dragged on since 2011.

The commission voted 9 to 1 to move forward with the design for a memorial park on a four-acre site along Independence Avenue in Southwest Washington. The modern design features stainless steel tapestries depicting a Kansas landscape at its southern edge, and a memorial core with statues celebrating the 34th president and War World II General.

But the $142 million project still faces opposition in Congress. House and Senate appropriation committees did not include construction funding in the upcoming budget, a blow to the commission. The project has not received federal construction funds since 2012. The project was authorized in 1999.

Nonetheless, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), chairman of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, described the vote as a milestone in the memorial’s long journey.

“This is an important day for those of us who are committed to memorializing Dwight D. Eisenhower – a brilliant strategist, a visionary world leader, a man who saved Western democracy and a proud Kansan,” he said in a statement after the vote.