Six months after an intruder jumped over the White House fence and made it through the unlocked front door, the Secret Service is taking drastic measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. Its solution? Building a replica of the White House in Beltsville, Maryland, which is 20 miles away from the real deal and the current site of Secret Service training operations. As The New York Times reports, Secret Service director Joseph P. Clancy appealed to Congress yesterday, requesting $8M to build a fake White House that would recreate at least the façade, East and West wings, guard booths, and the surrounding grounds. He says that compared to their current setup (a parking lot with makeshift fences), a replica would be much more effective in helping them train. While the government figures out the fate of this $8M proposal, the Secret Service should know that there are actually half a dozen fake White Houses already in existence that they could just use!
Below, the most eligible fake White Houses in all the land, presented in order of how close they are located to the real thing.
↑ McLean, VA—This replica, built by a Vietnamese immigrant who wanted to erect a "tribute to his adopted homeland," was designed using White House blueprints and last asked $4M.
↑ Haymarket, VA—Last sold for $1.29M in 2013, this unfinished White House dupe was was a foreclosure property.
↑ Atlanta, GA—The famous White House of Georgia originally included a replica of George W. Bush's Oval Desk desk and details like a presidential seal, but it's unclear if those interior features still exist now that the home has left its original owner. Rated five stars on Yelp.
↑ ↓ Dallas, TX—Built in 1996, this 16,041-square-foot White House copycat nails the manicured lawn and iconic fountain seen in front of the real thing. It's asking $19.5M though, so maybe out of the Secret Service's budget...
↑ Erbil, Iraq—Last year, Shihab Shihab, a Kurdish business tycoon began building his own White House, complete with the signature marble columns and white portico.
↑ ↓Hangzhou, China—This top-notch replica was constructed by Chinese tourism mogul Huang Qiaoling. The $10M residence includes a hall filled with portraits of American presidents and, of course, an Oval Office that comes with the presidential seal on the carpet.
· Secret Service Wants a Fake White House to Help Protect the Real One [NY Times]
· All White House coverage [Curbed National]