August 23, 2011.
Five years have passed since an earthquake rattled Washington, D.C., and caused more than $34 million in damage to Washington National Cathedral.
The generosity of countless individuals from around the country enabled the Cathedral to “finish” construction on September 29, 1990—and that continued generosity has helped us make a down payment on the earthquake repairs.
The Cathedral is, and always will be, an architectural masterpiece and a house of prayer for all people. Yet we are also:
A place of refuge . . . for all people.
A source of inspiration . . . for all people.
A celebration of the arts . . . for all people.
An encounter with God . . . for all people.
It will take all people, from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe, to rebuild and restore the Cathedral.
Repairs and Restoration
We have much to celebrate from Phase 1 of repairs—the Cathedral’s interior sparkles and shines as never before. Below, before-and-after images show the dramatic changes in the Great Choir’s boss stones after scaffolding allowed crews unusual access. Crews were able to remove decades of dirt, dust and candle soot:
Yet, the reality remains that we have only completed about 13 percent of the exterior work.
- Cracked buttresses need to be reinforced
- Intricate stonework that rattled and shattered must be re-carved
- Hand-carved angels that graced the heavens need to be placed back atop our towers
- A decapitated gargoyle needs to be repaired and replaced
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt heralded “the work begun this noon” and 83 years later, in 1990, President George H. W. Bush praised “the work completed this noon and the new work yet to begin.”
That new work awaits us still, and we thank you for your support.