This is an odd scene, and one you would not see today. Below you’ll see a photo of Lafayette Square, taken from the Old Executive Office Building. The gates you see swung open are to West Executive Dr. (i.e., not a place you’ll ever find yourself today).
Lafayette Park seen from the Old Executive Office Building in 1919 (RU007355 – Martin A. Gruber Photograph Collection, 1919-1924, Smithsonian Institution Archives)
Thanks to the Smithsonian for having an incredible array of photos available on Flickr.