The first time I saw the White House was probably in the late 1950s or early 60s and I would have been in the Navy. I don’t remember if the White House grounds were enclosed by a fence but if so, it would have been relatively weak and low. In the 1970s we took some kids to DC for a field trip and I remember being able to drive within a couple of hundred feet of the WH front door on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There was a fence around the ground but it was only one layer deep and visitors could get right up to it. Over the years I have been to DC a number of times and each time the security around all government buildings becomes more reinforced.
When I retired in 1996 I spent a couple of days in the city with a cousin of mine who has lived there for decades. While she conducted some business downtown I got a cup of coffee and sat in Lafayette Park, across from the WH, and watched the world go by. By that time the street had been closed to traffic and large concrete barriers were erected at each end of the block. At noon workers from various offices came out, put on their blade skates, and played a lunchtime game of hockey.
The fence was still in place but it was higher and an additional layer may have been added. When Trump ordered the troops to clear peaceful protesters in Lincoln Park to be removed so he could have his Parish Hall Putsch, it was reported that a different and higher fence had been thrown up to add greater protection for Bunker Don. I wasn’t sure just where this fence was but I did a quick Google and learned that the current permanent fence is 6.5′ tall and that a new replacement fence is in the works and it will be 13′ tall.
At least two questions remain unanswered. First, what about the bunker, will it be dug deeper and will it include a fast-food restaurant? Secondly, is the new barrier going to be termed a fence or a wall? And, who’s going to pay, Canada or Mexico?
One thought on “The White House Fence”
LOL HAHAHAHAHA I can tell you this, my experience. I was in DC — thinking it was Thanksgiving 1965 and there was a fence. I will have to dig out the photo of me standing in front of the WH with back to fence. I was 5’8″ at the time, 18 yrs old – and it seems like the fence was a couple inches taller than me, maybe more. May have been nearer a foot higher. When I say dig out the photo I truly mean that, because at the moment I do not remember where the photo is – what photo box it is in? I wore a green corduroy green jumper with dropped waist Grandmother made for me. Photo is black and white. Fence was just there. And I remember the street in front were not blocked off. We were on foot, walking around and using city transportation. Did a little a research and here is what I found – a time line that does not include yours and mine and many other not so favorite person. https://www.whitehousehistory.org/press-room/press-timelines/history-of-the-white-house-fence