Beard said it is undecided whether the original pillars might be reclaimed for the new fence but ruled out trying to replicate the other costly historic decorations. For instance, spear-like tips on the metal bars will not be allowed because they could endanger visitors and potentially "be used as weapons," he said.
Beard said options to a fence were considered and discarded. One vehicle barrier would have involved arranging large blocks of granite in a sweeping formation that resembled tombstones.
But some preservation activists and Sacramento historical officials are steamed about the fence proposal. They complain that they were left out of the state's decision-making process, were surprised to only recently learn of the fence and still haven't been fully consulted.
One critic, Assemblywoman Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), challenged both the wisdom of constructing a fence as a security enhancement and the haste to proceed without seeking local points of view. "It's a bit unnecessary," she said of the fence.