Washington, D.C. – Today, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) and the Architect of the Capitol held the First Nail Ceremony for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. The event marks the traditional launch of construction on the inaugural platform, where the next President of the United States will take the oath of office on Friday, January 20, 2017. 

During the ceremony, JCCIC Chairman Roy Blunt, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Rules Committee Ranking Member Charles E. Schumer, Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers drove nails into a plank at the site of the future platform on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

“The Presidential Inauguration may seem to be a routine event, but it remains a uniquely American symbol of our constitutional system,” said Chairman Blunt. “While inaugural traditions may have varied over the years, their fundamental premise remains unchanged and unwavering. They have represented both national renewal and continuity of leadership for two centuries and will continue to do so into the future.”

The 58th Presidential Inaugural Platform will be more than 10,000 square feet, the same size as every platform used since the 2005 inaugural, which was the largest platform built for an inauguration. The platform is constructed entirely from scratch for each inaugural ceremony. The completed platform will hold approximately 1,600 inaugural guests, including members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, cabinet members and nominees, Supreme Court justices, former presidents, and the president and vice president and their families. 

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is charged with the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the Inauguration of the President of the United States at the U.S. Capitol since 1901.