<< Home

Eisenhower Memorial

Rescuing the Eisenhower Memorial

In the continuing saga over the proposed Eisenhower Memorial, new Congressional legislation would halt any additional federal funding for Frank Gehry’s design and send the memorial back to its planning phase. (Read more background on the memorial controversy here.)  Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, introduced the bill, which Susan Eisenhower—Ike’s granddaughter—supports. “We are very respectful that this is a memorial for the American people,” she told the congressional committee last week. “I think we might be in a different position if the public hadn’t been so very strongly against this design.”

Read More...

Washington: The Classical City

Last June, the Program on American Citizenship teamed with the National Civic Art Society to present a panel discussion on the important role that memorials play in civic life, using the recent controversies over the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the proposed Eisenhower Memorial to guide the conversation. You can watch the full discussion between panelists Michael J. Lewis (Williams College), Roger Scruton (AEI), Bruce Cole (Hudson Institute) and Diana Schaub (Loyola University Maryland) here. In the January 17th issue of the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse, the National Civic Art Society continued the conversation.

Read More...

Mid-week roundup

Some recent news happenings in the world of citizenship:

  • Samoans seek U.S. citizenship.
  • With the November elections approaching, CIRCLE’s Peter Levine takes a look at some different ways people view the right to vote.
  •  At Vanity Fair, Paul Goldberger defends Frank Gehry’s proposed Eisenhower Memorial
  • Read More...

    Doing right by Ike

    In the last few weeks, The Weekly Standard has published two articles discussing Dwight D. Eisenhower and the proposed memorial in honor of him, designed by architect Frank Gehry.

    Read More...

    House Appropriations Subcommittee denies Eisenhower Memorial funding

    In the latest in the long saga regarding Frank Gehry’s proposed design for the Eisenhower Memorial (more background here), yesterday the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies unveiled a draft bill that would deny the $59.8 million budgetary request by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

    Read More...

    The follower problem

    In today’s New York Times, David Brooks takes a look at how the monuments we build reflect our national character–and how, given the disappointment of recent monuments (e.g., the World War II, FDR, MLK Jr., and the proposed Eisenhower Memorial), more thought about that leadership would be a good thing.

    Read More...

    Eisenhower memorial criticism all around

    As criticism of the proposed memorial has grown, so too have attacks on the critics. Writing in the Architectural Record about the Program’s recent event on memorials, Ben Adler characterized the monument’s critics as simply conservative “curmudgeons” who will “always revile Modernism for both ideological and aesthetic reasons.”

    Responding to Adler in the same journal, the Program’s Gary Schmitt and Cheryl Miller write, “In defending architectural Modernism, Adler falls into the very trap he warns against.”

    Read More...

    Event re-cap: Monumental Fights


    Missed Friday’s discussion on “Monumental fights: The role of memorials in civic life”? Don’t worry–you can watch the video of the event here, read about it it in the Washington Examiner, or check out our event re-cap.

    Read More...

    Frank Gehry’s latest design changes

    Yesterday, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission saw a revised proposal for the Eisenhower Memorial, designed by architect Frank Gehry. (More background on the proposal’s controversy here and here.)

    Read More...

    Revising Eisenhower–and his Memorial

    The Washington Examiner reports that revisions to the proposed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial will be revealed on Tuesday.

    Read More...

    The problems with Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial

    In our preparation for May 18′s discussion panel at AEI on “Monumental Fights: The Role of Memorials in Civic Life” (register at the link), we bring you another essay by a panel participant discussing the importance of proper memorials to honor our great statesmen. In this selection from First Things, Eric Wind and Erik Bootsma, both of the National Civic Art Society (with whom we are co-sponsoring the event), raise concerns about Frank Gehry’s proposed Eisenhower Memorial and the way the design process was conducted.

    Read More...

    The Decline of American Monuments

    As we look forward to our May 18 discussion panel on “Monumental Fights: The Role of Memorials in Civic Life” (register at the link) with the National Civic Art Society, we will be showcasing essays on the subject to help us prepare for the discussion. Today’s selection is by panelist and Williams College professor of art Michael J. Lewis, who writes on “The Decline of American Monuments and Memorials” in this month’s Imprimis.

    Read More...

    Upcoming event: Monumental Fights

    Over the past year, the recently dedicated Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Memorial and the planned Eisenhower Memorial have renewed controversy about the meaning and purpose of public memorials. What do America’s memorials and monuments tell us about our nation and our identity as citizens? How should we memorialize past events and individuals? In this event, co-sponsored by the Program on American Citizenship and the National Civic Art Society, a distinguished panel will address these questions and comment on the MLK and Eisenhower memorials.

    Read More...

    Monumental Egos

    In the April issue of The American Spectator, AEI’s Roger Scruton joins the long line of criticism in arguing against Frank Gehry’s design for the Eisenhower Memorial.

    Read More...

    Remembering Eisenhower’s greatness

    The on-going saga of the Eisenhower Memorial continues, which we’ve covered before here, here, and here. Now, conservative commentators George Will, Ross Douthat, and David Frum join the line of critics who think that Frank Gehry’s design to commemorate the nation’s  34th president misses the point.

    Read More...

    Mid-week roundup

    Mid-week roundup:

    • More on the Eisenhower Memorial: The Washington Post has a favorable review of the proposed memorial, hailing architect Frank Gehry for his innovation, playfulness (“Gehry has produced a design that inverts several of the sacred hierarchies of the classic memorial, emphasizing ideas of domesticity and interiority rather than masculine power and external display…”), and democratic style (the focus on Eisenhower’s childhood shows that while “Eisenhower was a great man, [...] there were other Eisenhowers right behind him, other men who could have done what he did, who would have risen to the occasion if they had been tapped…”). If you’re looking for a view on the memorial different than the ones we’ve presented thus far, this review is worth reading.
    • Continuing our citizenship lessons from abroad, Program Director Gary Schmitt has a post remembering Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic who died on Sunday. As Schmitt recounts, “The fact that Europe today is virtually ‘whole and free’ is in no small way due to the life’s work of one man, Vaclav Havel.”
    • Harvard’s Institute of Politics has some new polling data on Millenials’ views of politics and public service.
    • And finally, the Washington Post reports that military voting has increased since 2006, and found that 77 percent of troops registered to vote in the 2010 election–compared with 65 percent of Americans at large who registered. Despite these gains, though, more than 112,000 military voters never received the absentee ballots they requested for the 2010 voting cycle.
    Read More...
    AEI