May 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Lafayette Square near White House reopens after nearly a year

Artwork adorning the Lafayette Park fencing in front of the White House in Washington, DC

Artwork adorning the Lafayette Park fencing in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. Photo: Astrid Riecken for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Lafayette Square, a park located across the street from the White House, reopened on Monday after a roughly yearlong closure, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The park has been closed to the public since last June, when police used tear gas and batons to clear Black Lives Matter protestors from the square so that then-President Donald Trump could stage a photo-op at St. John's Church.

The big picture: Although some of the fencing remains, the park is now open, according to the Times.

  • The Secret Service did not give an explicit reason for the park's sudden reopening but noted in a statement that it is "committed to balancing necessary security measures with the importance of public access and view," per the Times.
Go deeper