WASHINGTON — Almost five years after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that cracked, broke and twisted portions of the Washington National Cathedral, the second phase of restoration is about to begin.
Since the Aug. 23, 2011 quake, initial restoration consisted of stabilizing and planning.
Phase I repairs included restoration of the Nave ceiling, and repairs and reinforcement of six flying buttresses on the exterior east end — the oldest part of the cathedral.
Phase I ended in June 2015, with 12 percent of the exterior repairs completed.
Jim Shepherd, the cathedral’s director of preservation and facilities, and head stonemason Joe Alonso on Thursday will show several of the broken pinnacle pieces that fell off the building during the earthquake, along with their robotically-carved replacements.
In a scheduled news conference, Shepherd will give an update on the funding and timeline of the $32 million restoration effort.
Phase II will take much longer and be more expensive than work to this point, according to cathedral officials.
The upcoming phase will complete the building’s exterior repairs, and will take over a decade and an estimated $22 million to finish.
The 2011 earthquake was the largest East Coast temblor in nearly 115 years.
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