Building the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC

A National Memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Courtesy of Architect Frank O. Gehry

The Eisenhower Memorial, a national memorial to honor President Dwight D. Eisenhower, will be built on a four-acre site between 4th and 6th Streets SW, south of Independence Avenue in Washington, DC. Eisenhower served as the 34th President of the United States and provided crucial leadership during World War II, ended the Korean War and maintained active communications with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

In 2010, the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, selected a design concept  by world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry. The proposed design has sparked criticism from the Eisenhower family, members of Congress, and others. As of December 2015, Congress has not approved funds for the project. Critics have argued that elements of the memorial are inappropriate and disrespectful. The Eisenhower Memorial was designed to feature a grove of oak trees, huge limestone columns, and a semicircular space made monolithic stone blocks. There will be carvings and inscriptions that depict images of Eisenhower's life. The Memorial commission is targeting an opening date for 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Construction cannot begin until funds are appropriated.

Key Elements of the Eisenhower Memorial Design

  • Statues - Three sculptures will portray Eisenhower as a young man, as President and as General. Excerpts from his most memorable speeches will be inscribed on the memorial.
  • Tapestries - Tapestries will be created to frame the site and provide a dramatic visual scene.
  • E-Memorial - The memorial will be the first to use wireless technology to provide an interactive experience for visitors.
  • Information Station - There will be a bookstore, public restrooms and ranger station onsite.


The Eisenhower Memorial will be an urban park located along Independence Avenue, between 4th and 6th Streets, SW Washington DC, just south of the National Mall, near the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Voice of America. The nearest Metro Stations are L'Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW and Smithsonian. Parking is very limited in the area and public transportation is suggested. For suggestions of places to park, see a guide to parking near the National Mall.

About Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. (Ike) Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas. In 1945 he was appointed U.S. Army chief of staff. He became the first Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1951. In 1952 he was elected U.S. president. He served two terms.  Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969, at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC.

About Architect Frank O. Gehry

World-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry is a full-service architectural firm with broad international experience in museum, theater, performance, academic, and commercial projects. Notable projects by Gehry include: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain; the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.


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