The National Capital Planning Commission on Thursday approved architect Frank Gehry’s plans for a memorial park to be built on a four-acre site along Independence Avenue between the National Air and Space Museum and the Education Department building. In June, the United States Commission of Fine Arts gave its critical, final approval.

All Washington monuments and memorials seem destined to pass through a barrage of fire from politicians and critics, with the focus usually on the architect’s design or the politics of the honoree. The one for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eisenhower’s commander in chief, took 42 years from its first congressional approval to its opening in 1997.