Major Marion Barry is moving the entry door to his city hall office suite outward 10 feet so he can escape future confrontations with militant citizens.
Moving the door will extend the mayor's suite to allow one elevator inside the suite permitting the major to arrive and leave his office on the fifth floor of the District Building without encountering people assembled in the corridor outside his suite and the D.C. City Council chamber.
Several times in recent months Barry has been visibly annoyed by confrontations with citizens gathered in the corridor.
One was with tenant activists pressing for mayoral support of a hard-line position against the conversion of apartment buildings into condominiums. Another was with a group conducting a sit-in seeking improved shelters for homeless women. The latter incident resulted in several arrests.
Former mayor Walter E. Washington also encountered several similar incidents during his term.
Workmen began moving the entry door and adjacent sections of wall yesterday and aides said it should be fully reinstalled before the major and his wife Effi return Jan. 2 from a vacation in Jamaica.
Until the reconstruction began two elevators located side by side brought visitors from the ground floor to the fifth floor just outside the entry to the mayor's suite. Moving the wall will bring one of the elevators into the suite and permit the mayor to ride the elevator without being observed by those gathered in the main corridor.
The D.C. City Council, which has offices on the first floor, has a similar entry door arrangement.
Kwame Holman, the mayor's assistant press secretary, said the rearrangement will cost $1,500 including a rewiring of the elevator control system.