The Secret Service is moving forward with their plans for a new, higher perimeter fence for the White House. This Thursday, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) unanimously voted in approval of the preliminary site and development plans submitted by the National Park Service.
While the preliminary site and development plans have been approved, the project is still likely to be refined over time. This is simply the first phase of a comprehensive security plan meant to further protect the White House. The following phases will consider fence options for the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the Treasury Building.
Currently, the concept design calls for a 10-foot-seven-inch-tall fence, standing on an 18-inch stone base with one-foot-tall “anti-climb measures.” The current fence is roughly eight feet high and encloses approximately 18 acres of land. The White House fence was first installed around 1803 and now features seven pedestrian and six vehicular gates.
In the summer of 2015, the NCPC approved temporary security improvements to the White House fence. These “anti-climb measures” are also known as "pencil points.”
When considering new designs for the perimeter fence, the Secret Service kept in mind the picket size and spacing. At the last NCPC meeting, the NCPC commented favorably on the two-inch picket with the five-and-a-half inches of space, providing more visual access for visitors. The existing perimeter fence offers approximately one-inch pickets with a roughly 4.5-inch space.
If interested in seeing all of the designs considered for the fence, check out this Curbed DC article.