Kamala Harris will have her own ‘Resolute’ desk, built by the Navy with wood from the USS Constitution
Navy Seabees built Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of the Navy new desks from materials from historic American ships.
Harris’s desk, located in her office in the west wing of the White House, is made of wood, copper, and nails taken from the USS Constitution.
The vice president received the desk in February and showed it on March 27 with a tweet: “To all history buffs, the desk in my West Wing office was built by the @USNavy from reclaimed materials from the warship USS Constitution. On this day in 1794, President George Washington signed the Naval Act authorizing the construction of the USS Constitution. ‘
The USS Constitution is one of the country’s first frigates and is the oldest floating commissioned warship. It was launched in 1797 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Harris’s desk has carvings of an eagle surrounded by stars, reminiscent of the austere decorations of the Constitution. It was built by the United States Naval Construction Battalions, more commonly known as the Navy Seabees.
The project was approved under President Donald Trump, and construction began on Jan. 4. The desks were the idea of Trump’s Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, the United States Military times reported.
Vice President Kamala Harris’s desk, in her West Wing office, is made of wood, copper, and nails taken off the USS Constitution
VP Harris showed off her historic agency in this March 27 tweet
The two desks – the Navy Secretary on the left and the Vice President on the right – took about seven weeks to build and were built on the Washington Navy Yards
1st class builder Hilary Lemelin speaking at a presentation event for an executive office at the National Museum of the US Navy
The offices took about seven weeks to build and are owned by the Navy. They will be available to future Vice Presidents and Navy Secretaries.
They were built in a workshop at Navy Yard’s National Museum in Washington DC
“It’s a huge opportunity to be a part of it,” said Builder 1st Class Hilary Lemelin, who is assigned to USS Constitution, in a statement“ It’s great to make a desk for someone who makes such big decisions for the land and navy, knowing they’ll be sitting there every day is huge. The importance of their jobs can affect everything we do. It is now a piece of history. ‘
The two new desks are known as ‘heritage desks’ and are similar to the Resolute Desk, a historic desk used by the five most recent presidents of the Oval Office.
The Resolute Desk was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford Hayes in 1880. It was built from the oak beams of the British polar exploration vessel HMS Resolute, which was abandoned in the Artic in 1854 and found a year later by an American whaling vessel. .
The 1,300-pound desk was created by William Evenden at Chatham Dockyard in Kent.
The Seabees also built a naval secretary’s office, using constitutional materials, the frigate Chesapeake; the battleships Texas, New Jersey and Arizona; and sloop or war Constellation.
Braithwaite couldn’t use the desk he had devised to build. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Harker sits in its place. But Braithwaite was able to see the completed desk before it went to the Pentagon on a visit to the Washington Navy Yard.
Inside each desk is a pencil tray with a note from Braithwaite and a piece of the USS Arizona, the battleship that sank in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
The desk is owned by the United States Navy and will be available to future vice presidents
The new desks are similar to the Resolute Desk, the desk donated by Queen Victoria and used in the Oval Office by the five most recent Presidents, including Joe Biden; above President Obama and then Vice President Biden discuss the desk with Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at a meeting in 2015
The desks were the idea of Trump’s Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, and construction was approved under the Trump administration
The USS Constitution, with its topsails unfolded, will be towed through Boston Harbor along the Boston Financial District skyline in August 2014.
In this December 7, 1941 file photo, smoke rises from the battleship USS Arizona as it sinks during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
There are currently no plans to build more ‘historical offices’.
The Seabees have built two more, the Military times: one made from decking boards from the Essex aircraft carrier now in the office of the chief of naval operations, and a drawing-style desk made from deck boards from the submarine Nautilus in the ship’s reactors office.
Both desks are part of the Navy’s more than 300,000 historical artifacts collection maintained and curated by the Washington Navy Yard’s Naval History and Heritage Command.