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Long-disputed memorial to Eisenhower finally under construction near National Mall

Hoisting golden ceremonial shovels emblazoned with the face of Dwight D. Eisenhower, family members, politicians, and commissioners of the Eisenhower Memorial broke ground with architect Frank Gehry on Thursday. Sited just off Washington, D.C.’s National Mall but with direct views of the Capitol, the memorial will celebrate Eisenhower’s humble beginnings as a boy from Abilene, Kansas, through his rise to Supreme Allied Commander and President of the United States.

Gehry’s design for the four-acre memorial has not been without controversy. The memorial’s largest feature, a 447-foot-long, 80-foot-tall tapestry along the northern facade of the Department of Education, was called to question for both its content and its material qualities during a multi-year legislative struggle for requisite approvals. The focus on Eisenhower’s modest upbringing, celebrated with a central sculpture of Ike as a young boy, struck a nerve with those that felt he should be remembered for his leadership later in life.

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