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.

help restore the glory



Help Us Reopen the Garth

The Garth is one of the most tranquil gardens in Washington. Your support will help us bring it back to life.

Make your gift today

Restoration highlighted in Traditional Building

Read more about the restoration in the December 2016 issue of Traditional Building.

Support Restoration

Earlier generations came together to construct the Cathedral; now, it is the call of this generation to restore it. Thank you for your support!

help restore the glory

The Day The Earth Shook


The Day the Earth Shook chronicles the history of the Cathedral and the $34 million in damage and repair from the 2011 earthquake.

Featuring stunning photography and an insider’s look at damage and restoration, this gift is offered to supporters who generously give $500 or more to help complete repairs.

Damage Gallery

Phase I Repairs Gallery