Aug. 27, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Fight Over Eisenhower Memorial

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. Rob Bishop suggested funding for a memorial honoring President Dwight Eisenhower may be held up if the commission can’t reach consensus on the design.

Representatives from the National Civic Art Society, a nonprofit group that sees Gehry's design as incoherent and inappropriate, also called for an alternative design and accused the commission of working without enough input from the outside.

"The entire process has flown under the radar with as little public and as little Congressional knowledge as possible," said Howard Segermark, chairman emeritus and director of the National Civic Art Society.

Eisenhower Memorial Commission Executive Director Carl Reddel emphasized that he wanted to work with the Eisenhower family to find common ground and, as a token of that commitment, said he postponed a meeting with the National Capital Planning
Commission that would have taken the project a step closer to completion.

A letter from Gehry saying he was open to making changes was entered into the record at Tuesday's hearing.

Bishop concluded the nearly two-hour hearing by conceding the challenges he and his colleagues face Congress has a role to play, eight lawmakers sit on the 11-member memorial commission, but Congress as a whole is an unwieldy instrument with which to shepherd a national memorial from start to finish.

"I certainly hope [the eight] have some expertise in this area," Bishop said, "otherwise, we're all screwed."

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