Construction will begin this summer to make White House fence taller

Construction will begin this summer to make White House fence taller

The White House is getting a taller fence as part of security improvements beginning this summer for the perimeter of the grounds.

Crews will replace the fence with a structure that will be about 13 feet tall, an increase of about five feet. The changes are intended to keep out intruders after the arrests of several people who have tried to scale the fence in recent years.plastic fence products

The Secret Service and the National Park Service, which maintains the White House grounds, received final approval in 2017 from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission to move forward with building what officials called a “tougher, taller and stronger” fence.

Thomas Luebke, secretary of the fine arts commission, said the new fence is “not that different from what’s there now, but it’s a great increase in scale.”The White House, a National Historic Landmark, sits on about 18 acres in downtown Washington, while the history of its fence dates to the 1800s.

When President Thomas Jefferson occupied the executive mansion, a low stone wall surrounded the area. In the early 1800s, a rail-style wooden fence was installed, followed years later by a wrought iron fence. It was altered in the early 1900s to be about six feet tall.

For much of the past century, the metal fence has stayed about six feet in height — on top of a two-foot stone wall — but after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it received security enhancements, including spikes at the top.

The fence is about 3,500 feet long and is constructed along Pennsylvania Avenue NW to the north, East Executive and West Executive avenues NW to the east and west, and E Street NW to the south.

The current stone wall and metal fence — at a height of about eight feet — will be replaced by a fence that will be about 13 feet high. It will include an 18-inch, aboveground stone base at the bottom, a 10-foot, 7-inch metal fence and a one-foot-tall “anti-climb feature” at the top.

The new fence, according to the planning commission, will meet “contemporary security standards while recognizing the historic and symbolic importance of the White House and the surrounding grounds.”