Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Like Ike...but not his memorial

Have you heard about President Eisenhower's Memorial?
Frank Gehry designed it, and since Ike is dead, his relatives are the ones giving the feedback.

They don't like it, and after looking at the models and drawings of it, I can say I don't like it either, and (rather presumptuously, I admit) say I don't think Ike would have liked it either.

Gehry said (rather pompously and enigmatically): "the imagery has a peacefulness and gravitas to it that creates a suitable environment."  What he is referring to are these huuuuuge sheets of metal mesh that will be suspended around a park-like area. Gehry insists they represent the American heartland and Ike's upbringing in Kansas.  Metal? Symbolic of America's heartland. I don't think so Frank.

Here are some images so you can see what I'm ranting about!

This last one is the kind of metal they are looking at using--
and the sheets of it would be massive, bigger than the entire Hollywood sign.

Some of these mock-ups depict the metal as sheer...obviously it isn't.
It is so heavy and depressing (it looks like rusty bandage wraps to me) that it would seclude the memorial--visually cutting it off from the rest of the National Mall, which was designed to be open.

This design is far too industrial and radical and the pieces of it are so disparate! They don't tie together so it ends up looking like 5 memorials blended together. 

This looks like another case of Gehry being self-indulgent. 
He needs to read some biographies or Eisenhower and try to wrap his head around what Ike would have wanted, rather than trying to get more attention and recognition for himself. 

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