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.
- 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
- 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.