It’s musical chairs — and desks — as Philly Council prepares to host inaugural ceremonies

Philadelphia City Council chambers (Tom MacDonald/WHYY).

Philadelphia City Council chambers (Tom MacDonald/WHYY).

Philadelphia City Council will host inaugural ceremonies Monday for Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, Council members and other city government officials. They are not packing light for the party.

The inauguration is a formal meeting of City Council, so the antique desks where the council members sit have been transported from the Council’s chambers at City Hall to the Academy of Music. 

Council President Darrell Clarke’s spokeswoman Jane Roh explained the move to the Academy as a way of allowing family and friends to witness the official installation of a new administration.

“We have a lot of elected officials who are being sworn into office — not just City Council and not just the mayor — but including a number of row offices and judicial offices,” she said. “Council chambers, while roomy for a typical Council session, cannot accommodate that many people and their guests.”

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Roh said it’s a tradition to recreate the Council chambers as closely as possible.

“There’s nothing that says you must use this particular desk, but if you are going to have an official meeting of Council, we try to make it as close as it can be — which is why we do move the desks over,” she said.

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