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National Cathedral recovering from earthquake damage

National Cathedral recovering from earthquake damage

Photo credit: Washington National Cathedral, via

A rare East coast earthquake shook Washington in August 2011, and shook up the National Cathedral. The event rotated pinnacles, cracked limestone, and compromised buttresses, causing approximately $32 million worth of damage, according to the Anglican Communion News Service.

Following initial stabilization work, the cathedral opened 12 weeks after the quake, but repairs continue. Last week, the Cathedral announced the completion of Phase 1 of the repair program, and the removal of interior scaffolding. A celebration is planned for Eastertide.

There is still much work to be done – around 85% of the exterior repairs, according to the Cathedral statement. But for now, there is much to enjoy indoors.

The view of the fully restored nave is breathtaking, and all that the Cathedral does in this space has a feeling of openness and vitality—as well as improved acoustics and inspiration with the return of views of the clerestory windows and the boss stones, now cleaned for the first time ever.

 Posted by Rosalind Hughes


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Jay Croft

The $32 million necessary to complete the repairs has not yet been raised. That’s why only Phase 1 has been completed. The rest will have to wait until the money comes in.

I visited the Cathedral on Christmas Day. It is gorgeous, and a real treasure.

Bro David

Jay, do you have an idea how they are raising the money? Is that posted somewhere?

Jean Lall

Sorry, here is the link:

Jean Lall

Bro David, here is a link to the page on the Cathedral website which gives some details about the restoration and how to donate.

There are many, many people for whom the National Cathedral serves as a “house of prayer” and a gathering place in times of rejoicing and of grief, and who are happy to be able to support the restoration project.

Christopher Arnold

Every time a church needs maintenance someone pops up to say that the money should be spent not on buildings (or vestments or sound systems or landscaping) but on mission (however it’s defined). Strangely, I’ve never heard that argument applied to the cathedral in Washington.

Frankie Andreu

I would prefer that the 32 million dollars would be spent on the poor and the homeless, many of whom sleep out in the cold this winter not far from our locked National Cathedral.

Bro David

Are you aware of where the $32 million came from? Is it from the general budget of the cathedral? Was it donated from private sources specifically because the donors wished to see the cathedral repaired? Is it from grants for historic preservation? Combinations of all of the above?

Folks have a right to use their money as they see fit. They have a right to donate their money to causes which they wish to support. Perhaps private donors have also donated to causes dear to your heart in addition to other causes dear to their own hearts.

(this comment has been edited)


I am very impressed with the Cathedral I as usual missed any reference to an earthquake. Probably as I do not watch TV, and I live in Scotland. I will pray that the work needed will be done soon

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