WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

National Cathedral Repairs Begin On Anniversary Of Earthquake

Play associated audio
A crew works to secure a crocket stone, which was blessed Thursday afternoon at the National Cathedral, before being lifted into place.
Patrick Madden
A crew works to secure a crocket stone, which was blessed Thursday afternoon at the National Cathedral, before being lifted into place.

One year after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake caused significant damage to the Washington National Cathedral, the first repairs are set to begin. A special ceremony Thursday afternoon marked the milestone.

The bells of the National Cathedral rang at exactly 1:53 p.m. to mark the one-year anniversary of last year's earthquake.

"It took just under a century to get the pinnacles on top of this cathedral; it took just under a minute to bring some of them down," said Frank Wade, interim dean at the cathedral. He offered his blessing to a crocket stone, the first hand-crafted stone laid as part of repairs to one of the grand pinnacles in the cathedral's center tower.

"The cathedral is built entirely by hand — everything here is handmade," said Ward. "You don't go to Gargoyles-R-Us and find something to slap on here. Everything is made by hand."

Up until this point, stone masons at National Cathedral were focused on stabilizing the structure. The medieval-themed cathedral suffered extensive damage to its iconic flying buttresses and pinnacles. A gargoyle even lost its head in the aftermath of the quake. Now, the delicate process of repairing the hand-made adornments gets underway.

So far the cathedral has raised $8 million of the $20 million needed to fully restore the building, after the Lilly Endowment today donated $5 million to help with the restoration effort. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray requested $15 million in federal disaster funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the request was ultimately withdrawn to comply with FEMA's policy of not giving aid to religious institutions.

NPR

Black Leadership In The Age Of Obama: A Look Back

PBS NewsHour co-anchor Gwen Ifill joins All Things Considered from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, to discuss her 2009 book The Breakthrough. Ifill is re-examining the book's conclusions about black political leadership as President Obama prepares to leave office.
NPR

QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Presidents And Food?

It's week two of the party conventions, and all these speeches are making us hungry. So we made a quiz to test your savvy about presidents and our favorite topic, food.
NPR

On A Night Capped By Obama, Democrats Aim To Stress National Security

On the third night of the Democratic National Convention, party officials are rolling out some of their heaviest hitters — including headliner President Obama.
NPR

Police Use Fingertip Replicas To Unlock A Murder Victim's Phone

Michigan State University engineers tried 3-D-printed fingertips and special conductive replicas of the victim's fingerprints to crack the biometric lock on his Samsung Galaxy phone.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.