First Nail CeremonyThe First Nail Ceremony is the traditional beginning of preparations for the Presidential Inauguration. During the ceremony, Chairman Blunt, 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:
- President and Vice-President and their families
- President and Vice-President-elects and their families
- Speaker of the House of Representatives
- Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
- Former Presidents
- Diplomatic Corps
- Cabinet Members (and Nominees)
- Members of Congress
- The Joint Chiefs of Staff
- In addition, bleachers built above the platform, on the Upper West Terrace will hold another 1,000 people including choirs and guests.
- The platform is ADA accessible.
- 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.