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Commission of Fine Arts votes on ‘concept approval’ for refined preliminary White House fence design

WASHINGTON – The United States Secret Service (USSS) and the National Park Service (NPS) today presented concepts for a new White House fence to the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for concept approval. The CFA voted to approve the essential components of the agencies’ preferred concept, which will be further developed and refined in the coming months.

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 approved concept, voted on today, 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.

The agencies presented preliminary concepts to the CFA during an information presentation this spring, and have worked diligently to further develop those concepts over the past few months. The fence concepts presented today are part of a phased approach to enhance security of the White House and its environs. 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

There are still several additional steps before construction will begin on a new fence, including a return to the Commission of Fine Arts for final design approval. The agencies aim to begin construction of the White House grounds fence by 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.