The Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013 presented by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Inaugural Platform

U.S. Senate Photo Studio

First Nail

The First Nail Ceremony is the traditional beginning of preparations for the Presidential Inauguration and is a milestone for the upcoming 57th Presidential Inauguration. During the ceremony, Chairman Schumer, the other members of the JCCIC, and the Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers hammered nails into a plank on the site of the platform where the next President of the United States will take the oath of office.

Platform Construction

Fast Facts

Architect of the Capitol

  • The inaugural platform is constructed entirely from scratch for each inaugural ceremony.
  • The platform will be more than 10,000 square feet—the same size as the platform used for the 2005 inaugural, which was the largest platform ever built for an inauguration.
  • On inauguration day it will hold more than 1,600 people including:
    • The President and Vice-President-elects and their families
    • Members of U.S. Senate and House of Representatives
    • Cabinet members and nominees
    • Justices of the Supreme Court
    • The outgoing President and Vice President
    • Former presidents
    • The Joint Chiefs of Staff
    • Governors
    • The diplomatic corps
  • In addition, bleachers built above the platform, on the Upper West Terrace will hold another 1,000 people including choirs and guests.
  • It is built entirely of lumber, to protect the surfaces of the Capitol.
  • The platform is fully ADA compliant.
  • It is a stadium design, which maximizes the sightlines for the guests on the platform.
  • It is designed to blend architecturally with the U.S. Capitol.
  • Planning and design of the platform began more than a year ago.