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Earthquake Damage To National Cathedral Will Cost Millions

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Three of the four spires from the main tower of the National Cathedral broke off during Tuesday's earthquake. The broken spires are visible on the top of tower in the center of the photo.
Patrick Madden
Three of the four spires from the main tower of the National Cathedral broke off during Tuesday's earthquake. The broken spires are visible on the top of tower in the center of the photo.

Officials at the National Cathedral say it will cost millions of dollars to repair the damage from Tuesday's earthquake.

The cathedral did not suffer any structural damage, but the quake destroyed three of the four spires atop the central tower and damaged a number of gargoyles, finials, sculptures, and other works of art.

Joe Alonso, who has worked as the stone mason at the cathedral for the past 26 years, says it will be a monumental undertaking.

"This is all handmade," he says. "As large as this structure is, it's pretty much handmade on the outside."

The dean of the cathedral, Sam Lloyd, says the costs are not covered by insurance, and the church will need help paying for the repairs.

"There is nothing in our budget to allow us to do this, so we will turn to people across the country again to restore the cathedral," he says.

The cathedral will be closed until Sunday. Saturday's service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been moved to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Northeast D.C.

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