Congress Introduces Legislation to Halt Eisenhower Memorial
Recently, Congressman Rob Bishop (UT) introduced H.R. 1126, legislation that would eliminate nearly $100 million in future funding for the proposed Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial and mandate the an alternative to the currently proposed design.
Bishop says that his legislation is “intended to encourage public design competitions, where judges will anonymously choose a design over a designer. Competitions could produce a viable alternative to the current design and can address concerns over cost and durability.”
However, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) vehemently opposes Bishop’s legislation. AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, states, “Representative Bishop’s legislation allows Congress to exercise governmental authority in a wholly arbitrary manner that negates the stated selection process and is an effort to intimidate innovative thinking for which our profession is recognized at home and around the globe.” AIA’s managing director for governmental relations, Andrew Goldberg, continues, “You don’t want Congress inserting itself and making design decisions.”
Congress will continue its review of the Eisenhower Memorial and the selection process during another congressional hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources’ subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation on Tuesday, March 19. Witnesses for the hearing had not yet been announced at press time.
ASLA continues to support the construction of commemorative memorials and hopes that an appropriate resolution can be worked out in the near future.