Donald Trump moved overnight to place more fencing barricades on the White House perimeter amid nationwide protests and racial tensions.
New black metal walls were secured along the west and south perimeters on Thursday, providing president Trump with an extensive security zone around the White House.
The decision to close more avenues and parks around the complex comes despite demonstrations against institutionalised racism having been peaceful since Monday.
Some 8-foot barricades were already positioned on the north White House perimeter on Monday, when police cleared protesters from Lafayette Square using tear gas so Mr Trump could stage a photo outside St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Workers were seen on Thursday morning erecting walled fencing around the Eisenhower Executive Office Building entrance on 17th Street NW.
Workers then installed more walls around the Ellipse, on the White House’s southern perimeter, on Thursday afternoon, which sealed off the 52 acre park area dubbed “the Nation’s front yard”.
Reporters and Washington DC locals captured the fencing being erected in pictures that were shared, and condemned, online.
“I hope Biden’s first priority is to take down that f***ing fence around the peoples’ house,” wrote American author Stephen King on Thursday night.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, meanwhile voiced concern that the Trump administration would make the barriers beyond the White House perimeter permanent.
“Keep in mind that’s the people’s house,” said Ms Bowser on Thursday. “It’s a sad commentary that the [White] House and its inhabitants have to be walled off.”
Others condemned the developments on the basis that Mr Trump wanted to build walls around American’s own border, but he instead has built walls around the White House.
“American taxpayers, not Mexico, will again be sent the bill,” added Democratic senator Patrick Leahy.