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    President's Park (White House)

    District of Columbia

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National Park Service and U.S. Secret Service Invite Public to Open House on the President’s Park South Project

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Date: March 29, 2011
Contact: Office of the National Park Service Liaison to the White House, (202) 619-6344

Washington, D.C. -- The National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Secret Service will hold a public open house on the joint-agency President’s Park South Project on Thursday, March 31, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the White House Visitor Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., on the north side of the U.S. Commerce Department building. President’s Park South is located immediately south of the White House and includes E Street, N.W. between 15th and 17th Streets, N.W.  An introduction on the project and an overview of the planning process will be presented at 7:00 p.m.  If meeting attendees require additional information or special assistance to attend and participate in the open house, please contact the Office of the National Park Service Liaison to the White House at (202) 619-6344.


The proposed actions for the project are as follows: the Secret Service will be deciding whether to permanently close (1) the section of E Street, N.W. between 15th and 17th Streets, N.W., South Executive Avenue, and the Ellipse roadways to unauthorized vehicular traffic, and (2) State Place and West South Executive Avenue and adjacent sidewalks (contiguous to First Division Monument) and Hamilton Place and East South Executive Avenue and adjacent sidewalks (contiguous to Sherman Park) to unauthorized vehicular and unauthorized pedestrian traffic. The Secret Service also seeks to install durable, more aesthetic security elements in the area to replace the temporary, unsightly security elements currently in place, such as jersey barriers, provisional guard booths, canopy tents, bike rack, concrete planters and standing canine vehicles.  


The NPS will be deciding on landscape and infrastructure changes to the area that respond to the street closures and re-design of security elements to preserve the iconic historic landscape that is the White House and its environs, which are also important destinations for visitors.


The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) is a cooperating agency in this EA and is assisting in the development of potential alternatives by holding a limited competition for design concepts that integrate Secret Service security requirements and NPS cultural landscape preservation policies and guidelines.


The public open house will be informal in structure and will give interested persons the opportunity to ask questions and share their views on the project and the area it will cover. The open house is both a public scoping session under the National Environmental Policy Act and a Section 106 consulting parties’ session under the National Historic Preservation Act. "Scoping" is used to gain insight into the issues to be addressed in a project and to identify other significant issues related to proposed actions.


C
omments, concerns, and/or questions regarding the President’s Park South Project can either be submitted at the open house, or submitted electronically by following the link http://parkplanning.nps.gov/PRPA.  Written comments may also be mailed to: President’s Park South Project, Office of the National Park Service Liaison to the White House, 1100 Ohio Drive, S.W., Room 344, Washington, D.C., 20242. All comments must be received prior to April 22, 2011, in order to be considered in the scoping phase of the environmental assessment (EA) being prepared for the project.


All comments submitted during scoping, including at the open house, will be considered by both the NPS and the Secret Service. When submitting your comment, please note before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information, that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available. While you can ask in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, the agencies cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so.   


To be added to a mailing list about the proposed actions, contact the NPS at (202) 619-6344. The NPS manages President’s Park South pursuant to its statutory authorities, regulations and policies, the Comprehensive Design Plan for the White House and President’s Park (2000), the Design Guidelines for the White House and President’s Park (1997), and in light of the area’s National Register of Historic Places status.

Did You Know?

George Washington

In 1790 George Washington selected a ridge overlooking the Potomac River as the site for the President's House. Known today as President's Park, this was the first land acquired for the District of Columbia.