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Eisenhower family backs legislation to scrap Gehry memorial design

March 20, 2013|By David Ng
  • Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, testified Tuesday before the House subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation hearing on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act.
Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower,… (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated…)

The Eisenhower family told a congressional panel Tuesday that it supports a bill that would do away with architect Frank Gehry's design for the planned Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington and halt any additional federal funding for the design.

Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of the former president, spoke to the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. The chairman of the group is Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who introduced the legislation last week.

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"It is time to go back to the drawing board, with an open process for the redesign of the memorial," Eisenhower said during the hearing, according to reports. The price tag for the memorial has been reported as $142 million, with money expected to come from the federal government and private fundraising.

Members of the Eisenhower family have been vocal critics of Gehry's design. Last year at a hearing in Washington, Susan Eisenhower faulted the Gehry design for not emphasizing her grandfather's military and political accomplishments. After that hearing, Gehry redesigned certain elements of the memorial.

On Tuesday, she asked for an open accounting of all the money spent on the memorial project so far and an outside review of the project's management, Associated Press reported.

Gehry didn't attend the hearing Tuesday, according to reports.

Bishop, whose bill is titled the "Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act," said Tuesday that "Eisenhower's service to our country deserves to be honored with an appropriate and fitting Memorial that more adequately reflects his legacy."

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