NYT editorial weighs in on the long-running dispute over Ike’s memorialBreaking News
tags: Eisenhower, memorial
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After a steady siege of Washington infighting and aesthetic backbiting, the plan to build a national memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president and five-star military leader of World War II, has run into its toughest hurdle yet — growing congressional resistance to financing the project and even calls to “reset” the planning process from scratch.
All Washington monuments and memorials seem destined to pass through a barrage of fire from politicians and critics, with the focus usually on the architect’s design or the politics of the honoree. The one for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eisenhower’s commander in chief, took 42 years from its first congressional approval to its opening in 1997.
The memorial for Eisenhower, a popular military hero and political leader from the plains of Kansas, should not have to suffer that fate. Since Congress authorized the project 16 years ago, $60 million has been allocated for planning. Nevertheless, the House Appropriations Committee voted last month to withhold construction funding for the memorial, whose total estimated cost is $142 million. Last week, the design by the architect Frank Gehry received final approval by the National Capital Planning Commission.