Weeks before one of them is tapped by voters as the next president, the stage is being set for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to take the oath of office at the Capitol in January.
Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers announced on Thursday that construction will begin on the inaugural stand on the Capitol’s West Front on Sept. 10, the day Congress returns from its August recess.
Fencing will be erected and “no entrance” signs will be installed that will stay in place for the next five months, Ayers said.
Inauguration Day will be Jan. 21—pushed back a day because the date normally set for the president’s term to begin falls on a Sunday in 2012.
The inauguration also will be held for only the second time on the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The first was Bill Clinton’s swearing-in for his second term in January 1997.