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Krier speaks out against Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial design

Summer view looking northeast along Maryland Avenue through the memorial site © Gehry & Partners
Summer view looking northeast along Maryland Avenue through the memorial site © Gehry & Partners

The controversy surrounding Frank Gehry’s proposal for the Eisenhower Memorial has just reached new heights as the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin has recently published a 1,500-word essay, written by the influential neo-traditionalist architect Leon Krier, that bashes Gehry’s proposal and ideology. Krier calls Gehry a “greatly confused artist” who’s “style is a century old” and “seems “innovative” only to the ignorant”. Kier continues to claim the commission who appointed Gehry’s design “shares his [Gehry’s] intellectual confusion and distaste of classical Washington D.C.” Continue reading for more.

Krier describes the 25 meter-tall woven metal tapestries as embodying a “chain-link aesthetic” that that has served as “a widespread formula used since the early 1950s in Germany by Egon Eiermann to dress up superstores.”

Krier states, “The scale and character of the blotted tagged fence relates more to highway billboards and graffiti than to the historic tapestry it declaredly refers to. The giant illustrated screens intend to create a sacred memorial area, but the devotional imagery is perceived like a mere backdrop through a thicket of trees, best read from the outside. The centerless monument effectively amounts to an open-air cinema overtaken by a wild-growth of sycamore. An anti-monument if there can be such a thing.”

Judging on the essay, it is safe to say Krier has joined Richard Driehaus in the campaign for a replacement scheme. Out of fairness, they have requested a response, however there has been no word from Gehry.

Learn more about the controversy here on ArchDaily and be sure to read the entire essay by Leon Krier on the Chicago Tribune.

Reference: Chicago Tribune, BDOnline

Cite:Karissa Rosenfield. "Krier speaks out against Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial design" 17 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>