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Worthy Memorial for President and General Eisenhower Needed; Chronic Mismanagement Plagues Process

“The House Natural Resources Committee’s Majority oversight staff released a report [July 25, 2014] entitled “A Five-Star Folly: An Investigation into the Cost Increases, Construction Delays, and Design Problems That Have Been a Disservice to the Effort to Memorialize Dwight D. Eisenhower.” The current proposal for the Memorial, created by Frank Gehry’s architecture firm, has faced intense scrutiny from the Eisenhower family and the public for both a poor and flawed design, rising design costs, and difficult to predict durability and maintenance costs. To date, more than $16.4 million has been spent on the memorial design, and another $13.3 million on design contract management and administrative support, yet no design has been approved or memorial built. Because of chronic mismanagement, cost overruns, and the continued need for a memorial befitting the honor and contribution of President Eisenhower , today Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Chairman Rob Bishop introduced H.R. 5203, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission Reform Act. This legislation will provide an opportunity for a new perspective by creating a new commission to complete a monument fitting to honor the accomplishments and legacy of President Eisenhower.

“President Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of the greatest leaders in our nation’s history. His legacy must be memorialized in a way that appropriately pays tribute to the many contributions he made as a general and as President,” said Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Chairman Rob Bishop. “The goal of this report and legislation is to address and subsequently move past the controversies and mismanagement that continue to plague the project. In light of the information found in the oversight report, it is very clear that we must move forward with new, and more appropriate ideas, as well as better management of the resources dedicated to the success of this project.”

“President Eisenhower is worthy of a memorial in Washington, DC honoring his accomplishments and legacy — and he certainly deserves better than the current memorial morass,” said Chairman Doc Hastings. “The House Natural Resource Committee’s oversight investigation and report has documented how the stubborn mismanagement displayed in the creation of an Eisenhower Memorial by bureaucratic staff and the Commission over the past fifteen years has produced very little but a track record of wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and a deeply flawed design that’s failed to meet even the basic requirements for the memorial which are based on criteria that was clearly laid out as early as 2006. A change needs to be made so that an appropriately designed memorial to Dwight Eisenhower can move forward promptly without further waste and distractions. It’s time to restore a devotion to a proper Eisenhower Memorial rather than an obstinate pursuit of the Gehry design in spite of mounting costs and criticism.”

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