"After eight years of looking more like a Cold War checkpoint than a grand boulevard often called 'the nation's Main Street,' the heavily fortified stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue fronting the White House complex will be transformed...." Plans, to be completed by October 2004, "calls for the asphalt surface of the avenue to be replaced with a more aesthetic gray-and-pink granite paving material....The modern light fixtures along the avenue are to be replaced with antique-style, two-headed street lamps originally designed in 1923. The unfriendly guard houses will give way to security booths that would seem at home in a Victorian-era London park. The barriers will be replaced by antique-style cast iron bollards, or posts--some fixed, some retractable and some removable, allowing large crowds to gather in front of the White House on important occasions." First Lady Laura Bush says that by "'reopening the White House and redesigning Pennsylvania Avenue, we show the world that democracy and freedom prevail.'"
Thanks to Connie Chung