Model of Gehry's plans for the Eisenhower Memorial.

In 1999, two powerful senators, Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye, both World War II veterans (Inouye was a Medal of Honor recipient), sponsored legislation to build a memorial in Washington, D.C., to Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and two-term President of the United States. The memorial was scheduled for completion in 2007.

It’s been pretty much downhill from there. In the intervening fifteen years, Stevens and Inouye’s noble idea has become a classic Washington boondoggle, an object lesson on how not to build a memorial in that city.

The enabling legislation...

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