The NCAS intends to launch a publicity campaign this week to generate alternatives to the three, very publicly denigrated proposals now before The National Capital Planning Commission. Nearly unanimous public contempt of the proposals under consideration was apparent after DCMud and DCist reported on the plans under review, reports that generated overwhelmingly negative comments. "There are better options here for honoring President Eisenhower than big metal poles" said Eric Wind of NCAS, referring to the free-standing columns that will rise in the middle of the park as part of the Memorial. In sponsoring the competition, Wind says the ultimate design should reflect the subject of its tribute rather than salute the fame of its designer. "When you see the Lincoln [Memorial], 99% of the people don't think of the designer, its supposed to be a timeless monument. The emphasis is on the person honored." As for the architect, Wind says of Gehry "he has supporters and dectractors, but when it comes to this design I haven't seen anyone in favor. Some of [his designs] are better than others, but this is among his worst."
The NCAS competition was inspired in part by the design of the Alaskan state capitol building, which Wind says was the subject of a design competition that resulted in a "horrible" winner. In the aftermath of the competition and negative publicity it received, an architecture student "sat down in a few hours and designed something much better" that resulted in a rethinking of the project.
"In general this just does not match the aesthetics of Washington DC," said Wind, who wants to reach out to students and critics to come up with, well, anything better, though he has no illusions that forcing a do-over will be easy. "I think its safe to say we're an underdog." The Memorial was created by an act of Congress and has been approved by the Eisenhower Commission and The U.S. Commission on Fine Arts.
"If we can show the public what a truly classical, beautiful design looks like, we hope [the Commission] will reconsider, it will look much better than what Gehry has designed." The Eisenhower Commission selected architect Frank Gehry in early 2009 in a highly publicized national design competition. The deadline for submissions is April 15th, the contest is being cosponsored by the Institute for Classical Architecture Mid Atlantic Chapter. NCPC will review the Gehry designs today at its 12:30 meeting.
Washington DC real estate development news