One of the newest memorials in Washington DC is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial located near the National Mall on Independence Avenue SW. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission was tasked with creating a permanent memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dedicated on September 17, 2020 the memorial is designed to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower, as the 34th President of the United States and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial features a large park lined with trees next to bronze statues of Eisenhower’s leadership and a massive stainless steel mesh tapestry backing the entire memorial.
The memorial which was designed by architect Frank Gehry of Gehry Partners features a mesh tapestry that towers over the memorial represents the Normandy coastline at Pointe du Hoc during D-Day. The entire memorial is encased in a stainless-steel tapestry that showcases an artistic interpretation of the Normandy coastline during peacetime.
This representation symbolizes the peace achieved by Eisenhower as the supreme commander and subsequently maintained as the commander-in-chief. At the heart of this hand-drawn illustration is the iconic Pointe du Hoc landmark. Spanning an impressive length of 450 feet, this unique artwork is supported by columns covered in stone, each soaring 80 feet high. As the day progresses, the image will transform subtly as light and shadows dance upon its surface.
There is a bronze heroic-size statue of Eisenhower as the 34th president and another large bronze statue of him as Supreme Commander. Dwight D. Eisenhower holds a significant place in American history due to his leadership during some of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century. As a five-star general during World War II, Eisenhower served as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, where he oversaw the successful D-Day invasion, a turning point in the war.
“I like Ike”Slogan used by Eisenhower while running for president
After completing his military service, Eisenhower ran successfully for president and was elected to serve two terms (from 1953 to 1961). The creation of the Interstate Highway System, the Little Rock Nine incident, and his policy of “brinkmanship” toward the Cold War are just a few of the major domestic and international accomplishments that marked his presidency. His influence on American development, civil liberties, and foreign policy is still felt today.
There are additional statues of General Eisenhower seen alongside paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division in recognition of his military achievements before the Battle of Normandy. In the background behind the bronze sculptures is a bas relief showcasing Eisenhower and illustrating the Normandy landings on D-Day, which took place on June 6, 1944.
The memorial contains, in addition to information about his more recent accomplishments, information about the individual’s life, including his childhood in Abilene, Kansas.
A sculpture of young Eisenhower pictured as a barefoot boy, in actual size, transports you to the start of his journey. The artwork is accompanied by a written passage from Eisenhower’s Abilene Homecoming Speech in Kansas on June 22, 1945. In the speech, he proudly proclaimed, “The thing I am most proud of is my connection to Abilene.”
Lighting is installed underneath each bench at night, making the memorial look even more beautiful than it does during the day. In addition to that, the large tapestry is adequately illuminated.
There are also plenty of places to sit in the grass field facing the United States Capitol with a view of Maryland Avenue.
The Eisenhower family had some issues with the final design of the Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial. This caused doubt as to whether or not Congress would approve funding for the project. Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker worked to find a compromise that would satisfy all parties. A member of the Eisenhower family, Susan Eisenhower, shared the news on September 14, 2016 that the design team had agreed to incorporate images of the D-Day landing sites and a new quote into the monument. The Eisenhower family decided to back the project after these changes were made.
The Eisenhower Memorial can be found close to the National Mall. It is located a short distance to the south of the nearby National Air and Space Museum. The memorial is currently maintained by the National Park Service. In addition to its location away from the Mall, which helps keep crowds to a minimum, the memorial also features restrooms that are open to the general public.Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial on Google Maps
Photos of the Eisenhower Memorial
Here are some more pictures that I took at the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, District of Columbia. If you’re a photographer planning a trip to DC here’s my list of the best DC photo spots.
Getting to the Eisenhower Memorial
It’s extremely easy to plan a trip to the Eisenhower Memorial since it’s located right off the National Mall. The Eisenhower Memorial is open 24/7 and can be accessed off Independence Ave SW. It’s located between the Air and Space Museum and Department of Education building.
The US Capitol Building is just 0.5 miles away making it a short walk if you’re already visiting the Capitol grounds.
If you plan on taking the Metro the closest metro stop to the Eisenhower Memorial is the L’Enfant Plaza station (0.2 mile walk). The L’Enfant station has Blue/Green/Orange/Silver/Yellow lines making it easy to get to.
Parking is typically available on Independence Ave SW, 4th St S, or Jefferson Dr SW. Of course it’s a pleasant walk if you find parking anywhere on the National Mall.
You’ll also find electric scooters you can rent plus Capital Bikeshare bikes. Just be careful when parking rental vehicles since the National Mall is typically a no parking area.Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial on Google Maps
I hope you enjoyed my guide to this new memorial. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C. stands as a powerful tribute to President Eisenhower and his significant contributions as both a leader and a Republican. As visitors, exploring this newly constructed memorial is an immersion in a thoughtfully designed space that captures the essence of Eisenhower’s accomplishments and values. From the stirring quotes etched into the stone walls to the striking sculptures depicting pivotal moments in his life, the memorial is a must-visit for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of this esteemed president.
Looking for more to do in Washington DC? read my guide to Washington DC photography locations.