Commission of Fine Arts approves final White House fence design concept

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Date: January 23, 2017
Contact: Nicole Mainor, USSS, 202-406-5708
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, NPS, 202-619-7177

(WASHINGTON) – The design for a new White House fence, as proposed by the United States Secret Service (USSS) and National Park Service (NPS), was granted final approval today by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) with some details to be further refined with commission's staff in the coming months. The agencies’ will seek approval from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) in February.

The fence for the White House grounds will be a taller and stronger fence that incorporates anti-climb and intrusion detection technology, while respecting the historical significance and visitor experience at the White House and President’s Park. The proposed concept is an 11 foot 7 inch fence, with wider and stronger pickets, and an increase in the space between the pickets. The current fence is about 7 feet tall.

The agencies aim to begin construction of the White House grounds fence by 2018. The initial phase focuses on the fence around the White House and its immediate grounds. The second phase will address improvements to the fences around the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The agencies presented preliminary concepts to the CFA and NCPC during informational presentations in April 2016, received initial concept approval in July, presented further refined concepts in December, and have worked diligently to further develop those concepts to reflect the commissions’ feedback.  

Starting in May 2015, the USSS and the NPS implemented a series of temporary security enhancements and aesthetic improvements for the White House complex. These temporary security measures to E Street NW, the Ellipse and the removable anti-climb feature installed on the top of the White House fence, have enhanced protection for the White House and will remain in place until long-term solutions are fully implemented.


About the United States Secret Service: The United States Secret Service was originally founded in 1865 for the purpose of suppressing the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Now an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, the USSS is widely known for its protective mission in safeguarding the nation’s highest elected officials, visiting foreign dignitaries, and events of national significance. Today, the USSS maintains a unique dual mission of protection and investigations, as one of the premier law enforcement organizations charged with investigating cyber and financial crimes. 

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

The National Park Service has cared for the White House and its grounds since 1933. President’s Park, which includes the Ellipse and Lafayette Park, was officially included in the national park system in 1961.


Last updated: January 23, 2017

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