Frank Gehry —he of the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Disney Music Hall in LA, and the Experience Music Project in Seattle (not to mention the armchairs made of cardboard packing crates)— has been selected to design the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Congress created the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission ten years ago. In 2005 it approved the Commission’s requested site: a very prominent and attractive four acre space in the shadow of the Capitol on Independence Avenue, across from the Air and Space Museum.
Frank Gehry, of Gehry Partners in Santa Monica, was chosen from a final short list of four firms that also included: Ron Krueck of Krueck & Sexton, Rob Rogers and Jonathan Marvel of Rogers Marvel Architects, and Peter Walker of PWP Landscape Architecture.
Mr. Gehry, known for his highly personalized and intuitive approach and his famously fluid lines, is an interesting and adventurous choice for the nation’s official monument to a war hero and thirty-fourth POTUS. His most recent public building was the Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Hyde Park — which he said was inspired by butterflies. His life and work and creative processes were the subject of an excellent documentary —Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005)— directed by his friend Sydney Pollack. The Gehry oeuvre extends from private homes to his own line of jewelry at Tiffany & Co.
There’s more information about the Memorial and other Eisenhoweriana (including news of a new electronic edition of his complete presidential papers by the Johns Hopkins University Press) at the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s informative homepage.
The site for the Eisenhower Memorial is in the heart of historic and monumental Washington.