Major cathedral earthquake repairs start next month

Pinnacles on the scaffolding of the Cathedral\'s towers as they were being repaired last month. (WTOP/Max Smith)

WASHINGTON — It’s been more than two years since a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck in Virginia and caused damage around D.C.

Part of that damage included the Washington National Cathedral, and it’s finally getting ready to undergo major repair work. The $5 million project begins next month.

This first phase of the project addresses the restoration of the ceiling.

The project will take about one year to complete. When finished, protective netting currently catching debris near the cathedral’s ceiling can come down.

“We hope that people continue to be generous so that we can move forward and get this earthquake damage behind us,” says James Shepherd, Director of Preservation and Facilities with the cathedral.

This repair isn’t the only one needed — others will come as funding comes.

Leaders with the cathedral have raised $10 million for repairs so far, but still need an additional $16 million to cover everything. Until they have enough money for the entirety of the work, scaffolding will remain visible on the exterior.

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