President Barack Obama is appointing a known critic of the planned Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design to serve on the federal commission that oversees the project, weighing into a lingering debate over the memorial’s future.
The White House announced plans to appoint former National Endowment for the Humanities chairman Bruce Cole last month, but it drew little attention while Congress was in recess. Cole served under President George W. Bush.
Cole has published at least two articles in the past 13 months criticizing architect Frank Gehry’s memorial design. He wrote that it would be a “monumental farce” and that the design is “a cross between an amusement park and a golf course.”
Gehry proposed a memorial park with statues and metal tapestries.
This is Obama’s first appointment to the commission.