The black debris netting that obscures the full brightness of stained glass windows and the details of stone carvings in the nave as a result of the August 2011 earthquake, stretching one tenth mile approximately 70 feet above the ground, will be taken down thanks in large part to the Cathedral’s first-place finish during Partners in Preservation, an online contest sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation.

The two-week competition pitted 24 historic sites in the greater Washington metropolitan area against each other for $1 million in preservation funds, awarding points to each site based on daily online voting and social media activity. After receiving nearly 1.4 million points from supporters seeking to “Vote the Netting Away,” the Cathedral was declared the grand-prize winner May 13—and received its full request of $100,000. It was a great event for the Cathedral and for preservation awareness.