So far it's a stalemate in the passive-aggressive war between architect Frank Gehry and Dwight Eisenhower's family, the Commission of Fine Arts, and Congress.
Gehry is the lead architect on the Eisenhower memorial, which is planned for installation over a four-acre park near the Capitol. The plans, which have been compared to an unfinished overpass, include sculptures of Eisenhower and something out of a post-apocalyptic world:
Surrounding the park are massive, see-through woven metal hangings, which Gehry calls "tapestries", that depict pastoral landscapes of Eisenhower's hometown of Abilene, Kansas. The tapestries would frame the space and create a sort of open-air building, though members of the Eisenhower family have gone so far to protest that the metal scrims remind them of Communist imagery or chain-link fences at a Nazi concentration camp.
The Commission of Fine Arts, the independent agency that tells the government what to think about art, has urged Gehry to change his plans.
The project appears to be all but dead — Congress declined to allocate the $49 million required for construction, appropriating only enough funding to pay salaries. Private fundraising opportunities are limited by the Eisenhower family's disapproval, and Darrell Issa accused the architect selection process of being rigged.
Nor is it the first time Gehry's had trouble in DC:
Last decade, he was hired by the once-venerable Corcoran Gallery, Washington's oldest private museum, to design a $200m expansion that featured his signature billowing titanium walls and a mix of traditional and curving galleries. The addition was scrapped.