The National Cathedral will reopen Nov. 12, but officials say initial repairs to the earthquake-damaged church will cost $15 million, and fixes could take a decade, according to The Washington Post’s Breaking News Blog
The English Gothic cathedral has been closed since the Aug. 23 earthquake as crews try to stabilize large stone pinnacles and other elements dislodged in the quake.
Cathedral officials issued a statement
saying they plan to raise $25 million, which includes $15 million for short-term repairs and $10 million to help pay for the cathedral’s operations through the end of 2012.
“The short-term priorities are around stabilizing the building, re-opening the Cathedral, and continuing its operations and mission. The overall restoration of the Cathedral is expected to take numerous years, and the effort will seek contributions large and small from across the country,” the statement said.
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Full restoration is expected to cost “tens of millions of dollars,” and the cathedral “will seek contributions large and small from across the country.”
“The long delay in reopening is due to the need to stabilize damaged portions of the building, including the central and west front towers of the Cathedral,” according to the statement. “A safety perimeter remains in place during stabilization work involving a 550-ton-capacity construction crane, with which workers are in the process of placing numerous steel beams weighing a total of 70 tons in the central tower.
“Scaffolding is being constructed atop the beams to gain access to and then safely remove the damaged pinnacles. Crews will be working diligently leading up to the reopening to ensure that those visiting the Cathedral for worship, programs, or just to tour one of Washington’s must-see national landmarks will be provided with the experience one would expect from the National Cathedral.
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