Frank Gehry

The Memorial to Ike and Ugly Design

Dwight Eisenhower is getting a memorial in Washington, DC. That’s the good news to those who are fans of Ike.

The memorial is being designed by Frank Gehry. It’s about what you would expect from the king of post-modern design.Eisenhower Memorial

I guess it could be worse, but it’s certainly not a design befitting a figure like Eisenhower. This is an opinion shared by Eisenhower’s family and a growing number of Congressmen. The family issued this statement on May 30:

The scope and scale of the metal scrims, however, remain controversial and divisive. Not only are they the most expensive element of the Gehry design, they are also the most vulnerable to urban conditions, as well as wildlife incursions and ongoing, yet unpredictable, life-cycle costs. This one-of-a-kind experimental technology, which serves as the memorial’s “backdrop,” is impractical and unnecessary for the conceptual narrative. For those reasons, we do not support a design that utilizes them.

Indeed, not only is the design not very attractive, it’s a nightmare from a conservator’s perspective. It’s so bad that the National Civic Art Society has developed a website dedicated to fighting against the design.

As the Daily Caller article mentions, Representatives as diverse as Jim Moran and Darrell Issa are expressing their objections to the design. This is one of those rare times where you might be able to contact your local Congressman and persuade him to take action.

I know that art is a subjective matter, but is it possible to create designs in the 21st century that are actually attractive?

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