Steel Goes Presidential for Inauguration Day

Steel is the official material of choice for the inaugural stands

Washington, D.C., January 15, 2009 – As the nation prepares to swear in Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, Washington, DC is putting the finishing touches on Inauguration Day preparations, which includes erecting inaugural viewing stands made of steel in front of the White House. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), high-quality, durable and infinitely recyclable steel was selected as the official material of choice for the stands, from which throngs of Americans eager for a glimpse of the new President will view the inaugural parade and the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, January 20. 

The use of steel in the inaugural stands is in line with the new Administration’s focus on the use of energy-efficient, green materials. In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the world, more than all other materials combined. Steel has also increased its energy efficiency by 33 percent since 1990. 

A spokesperson with the D.C. Office of Property Management confirmed that the inaugural stands in front of the White House and along the parade route are being built with steel that was fabricated in Baltimore and galvanized in New Jersey.

Steel also provides elements of both safety and strength, which are important in planning seating for any major public event. Steel provides superior fire safety and load bearing capability, which are both important when considering the millions of people that will be descending upon Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day.

In addition to the inaugural stands, the White House itself is framed in steel. In 1948, following concerns by President Truman about its condition, the White House underwent a complete reconstruction within its original exterior walls. The White House was rebuilt on a new framework of structural steel and included the strength of 660 tons of steel by the time the reconstruction was completed in 1952.  For more information on the White House reconstruction, or to view images, visit

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI’s member companies represent over 70 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at

Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115