National Cathedral Still Needs More Than $18 Million for Earthquake Restoration Work

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

From a press release:

Six Months After Quake National Cathedral Still Needs More Than $18 Million for Earthquake Restoration Work
Cathedral announces $2 million raised for stabilization; annual giving ahead of projections

Washington, D.C.—Washington National Cathedral announced today that in the last six months a total of $7 million was raised to support the Cathedral’s earthquake restoration and operations during recovery. A total of $2 million was successfully raised to cover the cost of the first phase of restoration—the stabilization of damaged stone and protective measures needed to reopen the Cathedral—and $5 million was raised to support the Cathedral’s ministries, programs, and operations. Of the total, more than $2.7 million was generated from two individual $500,000 challenge grants that were successfully matched and exceeded in December. This fundraising puts the Cathedral budget ahead on annual giving.

The repair work, which includes intricate stone carving and detailed masonry, and will require significant scaffolding and large cranes to access the damaged areas, could be completed in five years if sufficient funds are raised immediately. The total cost estimate for all phases of the stabilization and earthquake restoration work has risen to more than $20 million (from the original estimate of $15 million); $18 million more must be raised to complete this work.
The Cathedral still needs an additional $5 million to support its annual programs, consistent with its goal of $10 million for operations projected in August.

“We thank the countless supporters who have contributed from every corner of the country, more than 3,500 for the first time and many more returning donors who were moved to increase their annual gifts to support our mission in this time of need,” said the Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade, interim Cathedral dean. “We have a very long way to go, but this humbling generosity has allowed us to stabilize our building and return to our mission of serving as the spiritual home of the nation. As we look toward preserving this national treasure, we are reminded how truly national this Cathedral is through the support and prayers of people from across the country and around the world.”

The Cathedral sustained more damage than any other building in Washington as a result of the August 23, 2011, earthquake. The four main pinnacles (corner spires) on the central tower were damaged and have since been removed from the tower for repair. Cracks remain in the flying buttresses around the Cathedral’s east end, and numerous other smaller pinnacles also were damaged. Over the past six months, scaffolding was erected on the Cathedral’s exterior to stabilize damaged stone, and protective netting was installed inside the Cathedral to protect against any potential falling loose mortar.

The Cathedral’s stone carvers have obtained blocks of limestone from the original quarries in Indiana and are working behind the scenes to repair damaged stones and carve replacements.

To find out more about restoration and to donate to the ongoing preservation effort please visit

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