Recycle, Reuse: Platform Wood to Get Second Life

President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration platform receives finishing touches on Sunday, Jan 20., the day before his public inauguration. (BU News Service Photo by Micaela Bedell)
President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration platform receives finishing touches on Sunday, Jan 20., the day before his public inauguration. (BU News Service Photo by Micaela Bedell)

By Dana Hatic
BU News Service

WASHINGTON D.C. – Starting in September and culminating on Jan. 20 every four years, the Capitol transforms into a venue capable of seating 2,600 spectators for the presidential inauguration.

President Barack Obama will take his second oath of office standing on a platform designed by the Architect of the Capitol. The design process for the stadium-style structure began more than a year in advance of Monday’s ceremony, and the final product consists of approximately 22,000 sheets of lumber. The platform is designed to blend with the building’s facade and protect the marble and granite surfaces.

Sierra Pacific Industries, a logging company based in California, provided the lumber for this year’s inaugural platform, as it did for the previous three swearing-in ceremonies. This year’s supply comes from Douglas fir trees grown in Washington state.

Following the inauguration, the platform is deconstructed to preserve the planks, which are then anonymously donated to local non-profit organizations for building projects.

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