Washington Monument security options aired

Nov. 8, 2010 at 3:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The National Park Service says it is trying to boost security at the Washington Monument without spoiling its perfect geometry.

It will present five ideas for replacing the temporary security hut at the base Monday night, The Washington Post reported.

The only permanent security now installed is a vehicle barrier made from low granite walls, careful landscaping and benches. But that does not solve the problem of screening visitors to the monument's interior.

The proposals, designed to hold magnetometers, have gone before design oversight bodies for preliminary comment. Now it's the public's turn.

Of the five Park Service ideas, four would require a new, below-grade entrance. The fifth would create an above-ground glass security pavilion.

The below-grade options differ in where the door is placed, how it is approached and how much it would change the character of the plaza.

One proposal would sculpt out the earth on the east side of the monument to create an underground entrance. Another would carve out a ramp, letting visitors descend to an underground door.

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