WASHINGTON - President Eisenhower’s family welcomed design changes by architect Frank Gehry for a memorial to him but said Wednesday that any monument should be “simple, sustainable, and affordable’’ to honor his values.
In a joint statement from Eisenhower’s son and grandchildren, the family offered its first reaction to changes in the national memorial design that Gehry announced May 15.
The family continues to oppose the use of large metal scrims to frame a memorial park near the National Mall. Gehry has called them tapestries that would depict the landscape of Eisenhower’s boyhood home in Kansas. The scope and scale of the images woven in metal, though, remain “controversial and divisive,’’ the family said.
In Gehry’s design changes, images of Eisenhower carved in stone would be replaced with 9-foot-tall statues depicting Ike as World War II hero and president. The statues would show General Eisenhower with soldiers before the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France. As president, he would be shown with his hand on the globe. There is also a life-size sculpture of a young Eisenhower looking at what his life would become.