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Archives for Eisenhower Memorial

Design competitions, part 2

After my last post on design competitions, I got a very interesting response from Paul Spreiregen, who organized the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial over thirty years ago.  Hearing directly from him helped me understand better why that competition was so exemplary.  He was determined to make it, in his own words, “the [...]

Design competitions, in theory and practice

I’m sympathetic to a recent piece by Sam Roche on the HuffPost blog which argues against the “closed competition” process used by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission to select architect Frank Gehry.  After all, if not for the open, blind-juried design competition organized for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1980, Maya Lin wouldn’t have created her [...]

Monuments and vanity

A century and a half ago, the great conservative critic Thomas Carlyle railed against the statue-monuments going up all over Britain – “black and dismal” he called them, “like a set of grisly undertakers come to bury the dead spiritualisms of mankind.”  But despite their ugliness the statues for him were not the real problem. They [...]

Correction

I heard today from Susan Eisenhower, who let me know that her father John S.D. Eisenhower also supports the position of his children, who have all made public their opposition to Frank Gehry’s current design proposal for the Eisenhower Memorial.  John Eisenhower, President Eisenhower’s only child to survive into adulthood, has written to his daughters [...]

Eisenhower and Gehry: A Match Made in Heaven?

It always seemed like an odd match.  Now it has become a controversial one too, as several of Eisenhower’s grandchildren have thrown down the gauntlet and gone public with their opposition to the latest design for a national monument to the former President in Washington, D.C. In some ways the current fracas is a replay [...]