- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Washington National Cathedral will reopen Nov. 12 after being closed for almost three months from earthquake damage and repairs will likely cost tens of millions of dollars, officials said Tuesday.

“We look forward to returning to our home,” said the Right Rev. John Bryson Chane, the cathedral’s interim dean. “Reopening is only the first step down a long path toward restoring the cathedral to its previous state.”

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 23 damaged sections of the building, including the front towers and the ornate, rooftop pinnacles. The cathedral, off Wisconsin Avenue Northwest, has remained closed as crews stabilize the damaged sections and officials attempt to raise money to pay for the repairs, which were not covered by insurance.

Crews are now in the process of placing steel beams weighing a total of 70 tons in the central tower. And scaffolding is being built atop the beams to reach, then remove the damaged pinnacles.

“This has been a difficult time for the cathedral, made easier by the support of so many in the Washington community as well as by supporters across the nation,” Mr. Chane said.

Officials said they are trying to raise at least $25 million to cover early restoration costs and operating expenses for next year and that the overall restoration of the cathedral “is expected to take numerous year.”

The reopening will begin with the Rev. Dr. Mariann Edgar Budde being consecrated as the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and will include a week of other events, officials said.

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