Design: A New White House Entrance

Tourists will use a gate that maintains both tradition and security

Members of the Commission of Fine Arts winced some two months ago when the National Park Service presented its sketches for a new visitors' entrance to the White House. The building will house electronic detectors known as magnetometers to screen the roughly 1.5 million tourists who traipse through the President's house every year. In the first sketches the architectural addition looked as forbidding as the lumpish guardhouses put up for the Secret Service in 1964.

The commission, which was established in 1910 to safeguard...

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