September 27, 2017

If you liked Ike

Dana Mathewson

From Power Line:

Dwight Eisenhower was one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century. As Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, he led the United States to victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. As president of the United States, he presided over a period of normalcy and peace with many accomplishments that benefited the country. A memorial is to be erected on the mall in Washington, DC, in his honor.

Princeton’s Fred Greenstein rescued the reputation of Eisenhower’s presidency from liberal derision in the groundbreaking 1982 book The Hidden-Hand Presidency. Who will rescue Ike from the memorial to be erected in his honor? The cause is urgent and the time is now.

Frank Gehry is the architect of the proposed memorial. The works of Gehry are a blight upon the land. Gehry’s memorial design features large metal tapestries with images of Eisenhower’s boyhood home in Abilene, Kansas and a statue of a young Eisenhower seeming to marvel at what would become of his life. Gehry presents an intentionally reductionist and mystifying view of Ike. His proposed memorial effects a form of civic degradation at great public expense.

The memorial monstrosity is on the verge of final approval. It is time for intervention by President Trump or Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Today at NRO George Weigel reviews the procedural status of the memorial design and calls for a halt.

Weigel’s column is the latest in recent looks at the memorial that include Michah Meadowcroft’s "A whole tapestry of mess” (Washington Free Beacon), Alice Lloyd’s "Drunk history” (Weekly Standard) and Thomas Phippen’s "‘Tangled rat’s nest’ to memorialize Dwight Eisenhower” (Daily Caller).

Prominent art historians and critics have written with great acuity about Gehry’s monstrosity. See, for example, Catesby Leigh’s recent City Journal column "Monumental folly” and former NEH Chairman Bruce Cole’s New Criterion essay "A monumental shame.” Cole’s 2016 New Criterion review of the overstuffed Gehry biography by Paul Goldberger also provides useful background in this context. His review was aptly titled "All that’s Gehrish.”

The article contains specifics of the proposed monument -- which is to be anything but monumental. Indeed, it will be an insult to the memory of a great man, a great American.

Please read the entire article:

And here is another article, from National Review Online, decrying the monstrosity:

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