Tags: Eisenhower | Memorial | Fund

Eisenhower Memorial Raises Just $5 Million of $150 Million Needed

Image: Eisenhower Memorial Raises Just $5 Million of $150 Million Needed
Former US President General Dwight David 'Ike' Eisenhower (1890-1969) poses for a photographer in 1951 at NATO Paris headquarters. (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)

By Joe Crowe   |   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 08:39 AM

A fundraising campaign to build a memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower has only raised around $5 million out of the estimated $150 million it would require to finish the memorial, according to information on the memorial's website.

Eisenhower is the 34th president of the United States and was supreme Allied commander during World War II.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the largest donor listed on the site is "Citizens of the United States of America," which refers to the $66 million in taxpayer money the memorial's commission has received since it began in 1999.

The memorial's design by architect Frank Gehry has stirred controversy, which could have led to a reduction in funding. In 2013, art critics and members of Eisenhower's family panned the design.

"Americans are simply not opening their wallets to what is essentially a monument to architect Frank Gehry's ego instead of a memorial to Ike," said Bruce Cole, a member of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, according to the Free Beacon.

Private fundraising may be further out of reach, due to a law that requires memorial sponsors to add 10 percent to the construct costs for maintenance.

The Commission is pushing forward despite the challenges. Former Senate majority leader and World War II hero Bob Dole is leading the campaign. Fundraising appears to be on the rise, according to the memorial commission's budget report

The Wall Street Journal
reported in 2015 that all the living ex-presidents have joined the commission's advisory panel, as has actor Tom Hanks.

"Maybe we're being selfish, but some of us guys in our 90s want to pick up the pace," Dole said in the Journal report.

Republican lawmakers aren't issuing more funding because critics "poisoned the well," said Dole, according to the Associated Press. "To heck with 'em. We're going to go ahead and build it."

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A fundraising campaign to build a memorial to President Dwight D. Eisenhower has only raised around $5 million out of the estimated $150 million it would require to finish the memorial, according to information on the memorial's website.
Eisenhower, Memorial, Fund
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2016-39-27
 

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