Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The architecture of fear

An attractive Fox News reporter outside the Supreme Court.   (Photo credit: Jotman)

DOF has long been concerned that the architecture of the nation's capital is too open, giving the public a false sense of security.  Fortunately, this situation is beginning to change. NPR
Starting Tuesday, visitors to the court will no longer be able to walk up the 44 marble steps and enter through the giant bronze doors, beneath the portico engraved with the words "Equal Justice Under Law."
Instead, visitors will enter the building through entrances on the ground level and they can exit through the bronze doors. The court said it was closing the majestic entrance in light of findings and recommendations from two independent security studies.
But in a written statement, Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, called the decision "unfortunate" and unjustified." They said the stately bronze door entrance is a metaphor for access to justice, and they said potential security threats will exist regardless of where the public entrance is located.
Some metaphors are more useful than others.  Entering the justice building through a side entrance will serve to remind Americans that we live in dangerous times.

One journalist suggests that the Lincoln memorial could be made similarly inaccessible.  We like that idea too.


  1. I'm afraid. Is there any guaranteed method of maximizing my benefit from this?

  2. I've forwarded your question to Sec. Malcolm P. Stag III. He will be back in the office on Monday.

    - Hanus Fingerhood, Communications and Community Affairs, DOF


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Dr. Rebecca Wolf
Undersecretary for Community and New Media
United States Department of Fear