Metal Spikes Installed on White House Fence in Latest Security Renovation

PHOTO: A workers installs metal spikes onto the existing White House fence in Washington, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. PlayAP Photo
WATCH Secret Service Test Out Spikes for White House Fence

Metal spikes were installed atop the White House fence today, the latest enhancement to fortify the security perimeter at the White House.

PHOTO: This pen and ink drawing shows options for this wrought-iron railing for the north side of the White House. The bottom option was built in 1902. National Archives and Records Administration
This pen and ink drawing shows options for this wrought-iron railing for the north side of the White House. The bottom option was built in 1902.

U.S. Secret Service and the National Park Service mounted the "removable anti-climb feature" this afternoon, but the entire installation process will take six weeks. Designed by Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, the metal spikes installed today are only a temporary and will be replaced once a long-term solution is implemented, officials said.

PHOTO: A portico with iconic columns graced the north facade after 1829. The ornamental iron fences were installed in 1833.National Archives and Records Administration
A portico with iconic columns graced the north facade after 1829. The ornamental iron fences were installed in 1833.

The Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission will approve a final design in the fall and construction on a permanent security enhancement is set to begin in 2016. The renovation comes nearly 10 months after Omar Gonzalez scaled the White House fence, sprinted across the North Lawn and entered the White House.

Some semblance of a White House fence dates back to Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. Around 1801, Jefferson built the first post and rail fence around the White House, according to the White House Historical Association.

The second wrought-iron railing in the 1818 pen-and-ink drawing below stood on the north side of the White House until 1902.

PHOTO: President Kennedy walks home from Blair House, March 28, 1963.National Archives and Records Administration
President Kennedy walks home from Blair House, March 28, 1963.

The ornamental iron fences seen in this drawing were installed in front of the White House in 1833, and stood until 1902.

Entering the White House grounds has never been difficult for a president. President John F. Kennedy can be seen walking onto the White House grounds from the Blair House in this March 1963 photo.