WASHINGTON (AP) – After years of public controversy and debate, work is finally beginning on a massive memorial to President Dwight Eisenhower.

A groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning marked the start of the project, plagued for years by a bitter fight over the memorial’s design and aesthetics.

Famed architect Frank Gehry was commissioned to design the memorial, but Gehry’s original plan was strongly opposed by three of Eisenhower’s grandchildren. Eventually, after Gehry made changes to his proposal, the Eisenhower family announced their support last year, enabling the project to go forward.

Gehry’s vision would transform a four-acre space on Independence Avenue in front of the Lyndon B. Johnson Department of Education Building.

Organizers still hope to have the Eisenhower memorial ready by June 2019, the month that includes the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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