The Colorado Legislature is planning to put about $1 million toward a permanent fence around most of the state Capitol, The Denver Post has learned.
Recent renderings reviewed by The Post showed a six-foot-tall, wrought-iron black fence that rings the building, which is a landmark in downtown Denver, but does not cut off doorways or the Capitol steps.
Lawmakers say the fence — one of several planned security enhancements — would primarily be a response to vandalism of and around the building during Black Lives Matter protests last year in the form of broken windows and anti-police graffiti. But they appear torn over the message it sends to erect a fence around a building often referred to as “the people’s house.”
“I don’t believe a fence says exactly what this building represents and stands for,” Senate President Leroy Garcia said of the planned fence in Denver. The Pueblo Democrat’s pickup truck was parked outside the Capitol and destroyed by protesters in late May.
GOP Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg from Sterling said a fence would “help slow looters and rioters down from destroying the Capitol. I think it would be helpful.” No looting was reported at the Capitol during the protests, but officials said it cost more than $1 million to remove all the spray paint and clean up the grounds.