Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Washington National Cathedral's Jarring News

Here's a copy of a letter from the National Cathedral today. I hope they don't mind if I reprint it since it offers clues of the recent earthquake-related damages. From the pictures I am posting, the damage appears to have pushed pieces to lower sections of the roof rather than onto the ground. It makes me wonder whether it was planned that way, and proved a tremendously good idea if it was. Fortunately, the rose window pictured online in last Sunday's service, and indeed all 231 stained
glass windows
, were spared in whole.  

Interior of Washington National Cathedral 

Dear Friend,

The National Cathedral sustained significant damage
yesterday in the biggest earthquake to hit the East Coast in more than
70 years. Fortunately, no one was injured and damage to the interior
seems to be limited. Every assessment indicates that the Cathedral is
structurally sound, but the exterior has suffered visible damage.

As a special friend of the Cathedral, we want
you to be informed with the latest updates about this national
treasure. To learn the latest information, visit

Here is what we know so far about damage
to the building's exterior:

  • Three of
    the four pinnacles on the central tower, at the highest point of the
    Cathedral, have broken off—luckily onto the roof, which is reinforced by

  • Some of the flying buttresses also
    suffered major cracks, especially around the historic apse at the
    building's east end. The extent of that damage is still unknown.

  • One large finial fell from the northwest tower onto the
    Cathedral lawn. Due to its size and weight, gravity has lodged it into
    the ground.

  • A number of the Cathedral's beautiful
    exterior sculptures and carvings were damaged, particularly on the
    central tower.

An updated photo and
video gallery showing details of the earthquake damage is now available
for you online.

As we assess the damage and begin the hard
work ahead, please visit our website for continual updates:

Thanks to your help, our efforts to
rebuild and restore the nation's Cathedral start today.

Interior of Washington National Cathedral

 Actual photographs of the damage can be seen on the Cathedral website here and here. Meanwhile, we'll just have to stay tuned. Dean Lloyd is magnificently handling the challenge, as always. Now if only he could stay... 

UPDATE: The Atlantic and The Washington Post have interesting reports.

No comments:

Post a Comment