According to an email obtained by The Examiner, the members of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission have been asked to indicate their preference via email for the memorial design by famed architect Frank Gehry. The request was sent by the commission's liaison to the various staff of commissioners, asking for a "yes or no" vote by the close of business Friday.
The email asks staff to "poll your Commissioner ... to determine if he: Accepts the design revisions proposed by Frank Gehry and agrees with moving forward to presenting the design for preliminary approval at the July 12th [National Capital Planning Commission] meeting."
A separate commission email notes a "yes" vote denotes approval of the "general layout" and images.
A spokeswoman for the commission said it "is not unusual at all" for the commissioners to conduct business via email because most of them have heavy travel schedules.
Members of the Eisenhower family have repeatedly expressed concerns about the maintenance cost of the towering stainless steel tapestries that border the four-acre, $100 million memorial at Independence and Maryland avenues.
As recently as Wednesday, the family said it liked some of the revisions but could not support the design as long as it contained the tapestries.
On Thursday, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a member of the NCPC, also asked the commission to delay its vote.
But commission leadership wants to move ahead. According to the email, the chairman and vice chairman want "to press ahead" and "publicly announce on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day," that the design will go before the NCPC on July 12.
Gehry's redesign, unveiled May 15 during a public commission meeting, kept the tapestries intact. In response to the family's concerns, he scrapped a statue depicting the president and World War II commander as a boy in favor of one with Eisenhower as a young cadet. Gehry also added a statue showing Eisenhower as a general addressing his troops and another of him as president.