Running Fence: 18 feet (5.5 meters) high, 24.5 miles (39.4 kilometers) long, extending east-west near Freeway 101, north of San Francisco, on the private properties of 59 ranchers, following the rolling hills and dropping down to the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay. The Running Fence was completed on September 10, 1976.
The art project consisted of 42 months of collaborative efforts, the ranchers’ participation, 18 public hearings, three sessions at the Superior Courts of California, the drafting of a 450-page Environmental Impact Report and the temporary use of the hills, the sky and the ocean.
All expenses for the temporary work of art were paid by Christo and Jeanne-Claude through the sale of studies, preparatory drawings and collages, scale models and original lithographs. The artists do not accept sponsorship of any kind.
Running Fence was made of 2,152,780 square feet (200,000 square meters) of heavy woven white nylon fabric, hung from a steel cable strung between 2,050 steel poles (each 21 feet/6.4 meters long, 3.5 inch/8.9 cm in diameter) embedded 3 feet (91 centimeters) into the ground, using no concrete and braced laterally with guy wires (90 miles/145 kilometers of steel cable) and 14,000 earth anchors. The top and bottom edges of the 2,050 fabric panels were secured to the upper and lower cables by 350,000 hooks.
All parts of Running Fence’s structure were designed for complete removal and no visible evidence of Running Fence remains on the hills of Sonoma and Marin Counties.
As it had been agreed with the ranchers and with county, state and federal agencies, the removal of Running Fence started 14 days after its completion and all materials were given to the ranchers.
Running Fence crossed 14 roads and the town of Valley Ford, leaving passage for cars, cattle and wildlife. It was designed to be viewed by following 40 miles (64 kilometers) of public roads, in Sonoma and Marin Counties.