“There’s also the question of whether the money could be raised from the private sector,” Issa continued. “Right now, we’ve already spent close to $64 million and none of it has been raised from the private sector, even though there’s a requirement of about 20 percent.”
Chris Cimko, a spokeswoman for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, confirmed that it had not yet received outside funds.
“We are in the early stages of fundraising,” Cimko said, “[and] have hired a highly respected national fundraising firm, Odell Simms & Lynch, based in the D.C. area.”
Cimko added that soliciting private donations is “the phase that the overall memorial effort is now entering as we move toward finalizing the design.”
Since a March 20 House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands hearing, renowned architect Frank Gehry has been working to refine his design to assuage criticisms that the concept is displeasing aesthetically and in terms of its representation of Eisenhower.
At the time, subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said he would recommend withholding additional appropriations until “consensus” can be reached. Lack of new funding could be a blow as the commission prepares to seek final approval to start building at a meeting with the National Capital Planning Commission in July.
Bishop said Friday that he was still considering urging appropriators to cut off financial support, depending on how the Eisenhower family receives the revised design.