While chain-link fences are usually more attributed to security than aesthetics, New York City was looking both beautiful and secure for the Pope’s recent visit, according to The New York Times. Chain-link fences and concrete barricades sprung up on every corner, as an 8-foot-high, mile-long stretch of fencing was installed on the west side of Central Park to make way for the papal motorcade.
Along with the western Central Park fencing, metal police barriers were set up around the lower half of the park, which contained the thousands of visitors who were chosen for the lottery to enter the park during the visit. Security also put up “anti-climb” fencing, and the Secret Service worked closely with the NYPD to ensure the security and safety of the visit.
Daine Grey, a local professor, thought that the fences were a “pain in the neck” but hoped that the Pope’s visit will bring important meaning. “I’m hoping that the message that this pope has been sharing with the world will have an effect on our national politics,” he said.
Just as quickly as the fences went up, though, they needed to come down. By Saturday night, the park needed to be ready to host the more than 60,000 people who attended the Global Citizen concert. The show featured Sting, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, and Beyoncé.
The conservancy’s spokeswoman, Elizabeth Kaledin, commented, “It is definitely a huge weekend for the park and the Central Park Conservancy, but we are up for the challenge.”
The Pope stayed in Washington, D.C., until Thursday afternoon, where he then traveled to NYC to visit and met with the public.