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Archive for the ‘MEMORIAL’ Category

HIGH MAINTENANCE MEMORIAL

In case you missed this, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York will cost around $60 million per year to operate, according to the foundation that manages it. The number was first reported by the Associated Press (AP) on Monday. The Foundation did not reply to a request to break down this number, but the AP reports that $12 million per year will be spent on security and $4.5 to $5 million per year will go toward operating the giant water features that mark the footprints of the Twin Towers.

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By Bradford McKee, Editor

Did Justin Shubow mean to mislead Congress about the Commemorative Works Act, or was his saying that the law requires classicism for designs on the National Mall just a prayerful error on his part? The occasion for his bold statement was a hearing held on June 1 by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who chairs the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, in relation to what is currently the stalest of stalemates, the design that Frank Gehry has proposed for a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower just off the Mall in Washington. In the Eisenhower debate, you basically have a group of not very informed neoconservatives on one side, foaming in opposition to Gehry’s design and also to his revisions to the design, which were a vain attempt to sway the Eisenhower family, who all seem to dislike Gehry’s ideas intensely. And then you have everybody else, who either think the schemes are just fine or who see them and recall that worse things have happened.

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MONUMENTAL PRICES

Gehry Partners, LLP / Eisenhower Memorial Commission

Among the many concerns being raised about Frank Gehry’s proposal for the Eisenhower Memorial is its price tag, currently estimated at $142 million. That’s not the most costly memorial ever built in Washington, D.C., but it may be the most expensive memorial per acre. The proposed memorial would be 4 acres in size, so that’s approximately $35.5 million per acre. Here’s a quick rundown of what it cost to build some of Washington’s most famous memorials. Cost per acre is only computed for memorials that are landscapes. (more…)

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There is a lot of criticism being leveled at Frank Gehry’s design for the Eisenhower Memorial. It’s been compared to a Nazi death camp, a missile silo, and Soviet tributes to Marx and Lenin. The biggest point of contention, though, seems to be the depiction of Eisenhower as a young man. “[T]he only representation of Eisenhower himself [is] a statue of him as a barefoot teenage boy in Abilene,” wrote Conrad Black for the National Review Online. “This is nonsense. The monument is not raised up to a farm boy, but to the Supreme Commander of the Allied armies that liberated Western Europe in 1944 and 1945 and to a two-term president of the United States.”

Black, who maintains a lively writing practice from his federal prison cell in Florida, is misinformed. As Witold Rybczynski noted in the New York Times, two giant stone reliefs show Eisenhower the general and Eisenhower the elder statesman. “In this context, the small statue will have the effect of a footnote,” Rybczynski writes. It is significantly smaller than either of the stone reliefs. Also, the statue will not depict Eisenhower barefoot, says the memorial commission that is overseeing the project, which has come out forcefully and unanimously in favor of Gehry. But to show Eisenhower barefoot would be a nice touch. Eisenhower was proud of his rise from simple roots.

I hated Gehry’s design when I first saw images of the physical model. (more…)

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