That letter was followed by similar notes from Republican Reps. Daniel E. Lungren of California and Aaron Schock of Illinois, also asking the planning commission to reopen discussions about the memorial.
In addition, the D.C.-based nonprofit National Civic Art Society, a group whose website says its mission is “to lay the foundation for more beautiful and meaningful monuments, memorials, civic buildings, and public spaces,” has emerged as a vocal critic of the design.
“One of the most important things is the scale,” Mr. Shubow said. “It appears to be more of a monument to the architect than to Eisenhower.”
The group, which also is scheduled to appear at the congressional hearing Tuesday, also claims the competitive design-selection process was streamlined in Mr. Gehry’s favor.
The various disagreements over the design prompted Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to write a letter to Rocco Siciliano, chairman of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Committee, on Feb. 29 to discuss the conflict.
“It has come to my attention … that there are serious concerns with the current memorial design — including objections from Eisenhower family members,” Mr. Issa said in the letter. “While this is not the first memorial to receive criticism from the relatives of the individual(s) honored, I believe it is important that the views of the relatives be taken seriously.”
Mr. Issa requested copies of all architectural designs that had been submitted to the commission and “a detailed description” of the process the committee went through to choose Mr. Gehry’s design. He also asked the committee to “take reasonable steps” to save all documents related to Mr. Gehry’s designs.
The memorial commission declined to have any of its office staff comment on Tuesday’s oversight hearing before the event.
The commission announced last week that it wants to postpone an April 5 meeting with the planning commission “to accommodate requests for further information.” Mr. Thornberry said it would also allow them additional time to be in discussion with the Eisenhower family.
“We fully trust the federal design review process currently in place,” said Gen. Reddel, the commission’s executive director, in a news release. “We firmly believe that this process will provide all parties an opportunity to review the commission’s preferred design.”
Mr. Thornberry said he thought too much focus had been put on the child statue and metal tapestries rather than on what he considers the main part of the memorial complex: the stone panels depicting Eisenhower as an adult.
“That is the center — not the statue,” he said, adding that the design continues to change. A water feature that had been included in the original design was removed and the child statue was added later.