The Washington National Cathedral was damaged by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake, disturbing the residents and architecture of DC and surrounding areas, in late August 2011. Giant sections of stone (reportedly weighing approximately 1.5 tons) broke off from some of the pinnacles and came crashing down onto the roof and ground below. Considering the level of skill and detail required to restore the intricate stone structures and ensure the stabilization of the building, the Cathedral was closed for repairs and did not reopen until several weeks later in mid November (Weinberg, nationalcathedral.org).
I was new to the area at the time and had planned to make a visit to this beautiful site. I was sad to hear that the National Cathedral had been damaged and closed to the public. I decided to stop by within a week or two or the quake, if only to peer at this amazing building from the outside. Despite the fences and yellow caution tape, I had a magnificent experience. The stone masons have worked hard to stabilize and repair the Cathedral, contributing to the multiphase restoration project that has been estimated to cost $20 Million over 5 years.
Musical performances and worship services have since returned, but the Washington National Cathedral remains in a period of progress and renewal.