July 7, 2016
The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) today reviewed the concept design for a new White House fence as submitted by the United States Secret Service (USSS) and National Park Service (NPS). The same design was reviewed and given concept approval by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on June 16.
The agencies will return to the commissions later this year for the next stage of design approvals. The NCPC commented favorably on the size and spacing of fence pickets as preferred by the USSS and NPS, noting that the wider picket spacing may provide better visual access to the White House grounds. The commission also provided guidance for further study of the proposed fence top designs. The specific recommendations of NCPC are available at:
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 a small increase in the space between the pickets. The current fence is about 7 feet tall.
There are still several additional steps before construction could begin on a new fence, and a timeline is not concrete. The agencies currently expect construction of the White House perimeter fence will begin in 2018.
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 provided enhanced protection for the White House and will remain in place until long-term solutions are fully implemented.