National Cathedral Repairs Begin On Anniversary Of Earthquake | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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$15 million in federal disaster funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the request was ultimately withdrawn to comply with FEMA's policy of not giving aid to religious institutions.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

What Are The Secrets of Centenarians?

To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner studies the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live longer than anyone else on the planet.
NPR

Census Reveals Universe Of Marine Microbes At Bottom Of The Food Chain

The ocean's tiniest inhabitants — including bacteria, plankton, krill — are food for most everything that swims or floats. Now, scientists have completed a count of this vast and diverse hidden world.
NPR

Irish Voters Decide Whether To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Polls show the "yes" vote is stronger in the conservative, predominantly Catholic country. But public opinion surveys could be masking a "shy no vote," observers say.
NPR

Mechanical Turk Workers: Secret Cogs In The Internet Marketplace

There are hundreds of thousands of people doing stuff to your Internet experience that you may think is the work of an algorithm. They're working from home doing tiny tasks computers can't quite do.

Leave a Comment

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