Lafayette Square, the park directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, reopened to the public Monday morning after being off limits for almost a year. The park, which affords visitors the closest view of the White House of any vantage point, has been surrounded by tall black fencing and concrete barriers since it became ground zero of social justice protests last year after the murder of George Floyd.
Monday morning U.S. Park Police officers quietly created openings that allow visitors into the park. Happily surprised visitors positioned themselves and smiled for selfies as Secret Service officers patrolled the area on bicycles. Fencing still surrounds the square named after the American Revolutionary War hero, but entryways on the northern side of the park allow access to the general public. Pennsylvania Avenue directly in front of the White House remains closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.