The biggest challenge for the Architect of the Capitol staff. One day, every four year all eyes of the nation are set to hear and see the Presidential Inauguration. Once again, this year the stage of ceremony, the 57th Presidential Inauguration, is being erected by the Architect of the Capitol staff. The 2013 inauguration will mark the 71st time the oath has been taken, and the Architect of the Capitol is ready to help wherever they can, even if its snowing. The staff is on charge of the construction of the stands, media towers, security fencing, chairs, hanging pictures in visitors rooms, construct ramps, lay carpet and a lot of additional tasks that ensure the ceremony will be held without any interruption.
The inaugural platform is constructed entirely from scratch for each ceremony, compliant with current fire and life safety and accessibility codes, and it is being planned and designed since 2009.
Also new this year is the infrastructure that will provide complete redundancy for all of the power required at the Inauguration. The Architect of the Capitol staff is also in charge of hanging five huge 22 foot by 12 foot flags behind the podium where President Obama will give his inauguration presidential address. Large scaffolding is deployed off the top of the building, where white sheets are attached just behind these huge flags. This year will be the second time that the Martin Luther King, Jr. day has coincided with a Presidential Inauguration. This first was President Bill Clinton's second Inauguration in January 1997.
Other important facts from the Presidential Inauguration are:
- 22,000 sheets of Plywood are used
- 7 tractor trailer loads of framing lumber are used
- 7 dump truck of sand have been used
- 30,000 chairs will be in place
- 4 Miles of fencing will be installed
- 1,000 cubic yards of mulch have been spreaded
- 5 huge 22-foot by 12-foot flags will be deployed
- 23 miles of cable will be used
Photo © Architect of the Capitol, Photo © Glyn Lowe Photworks