"The location of the memorial, at this point, is unlikely to change, and the broad concept of the design—its pieces, character and scale—received preliminary approval last year from the National Capital Planning Commission, National Park Service and the Commission of Fine Arts. Now, the debate is granularly focused on how to follow through on Weishaar’s vision while respecting the historic qualities of Friedberg’s design. The slog of revisions that occurs in each regulatory meeting—there have been more than a half-dozen so far—can be frustrating, especially to Weishaar, who has gradually seen his design dwindle in the 2½ years since winning the competition.
When the competition jury unanimously selected Weishaar’s design, they described it as “elegant and absolute” and a “deceptively simple concept” that promised to “remind and inspire visitors for generations to come about American involvement and sacrifice in World War I.” Although simpler than other finalists, the original design proposed a wholesale redesign of the park. The current proposal retains some elements of the original concept, but to Weishaar it feels radically different.
“We’ve been told at every step of the way that we’re on the right track, we just need to modify our design a little bit more, and then a little bit more, and slowly the design has been reduced to nothing (and definitely nothing like I originally designed),” Weishaar wrote in an email."