Work Continues To Repair National Cathedral

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National Cathedral
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Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ) — It’s been three years since the East Coast earthquake struck Maryland and Washington DC. Now work is finally being done to make repairs on one of the capital’s centerpieces.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

When an earthquake shook Washington nearly three years ago, it became clear that the Washington National Cathedral is a delicate work of art. Tons of stone came crashing down and dozens of pinnacles and gargoyles shifted and twisted.

“It was like getting socked in the stomach,” said Andy Uhl.

Stone carvers Andy Uhl and Sean Callahan have worked on the cathedral for more than 20 years.

“I thought it was done and now here I am, repairing sometimes my own work,” Callahan said.

It took two and a half years to assess the damage and develop a plan to fix it. Only now are they beginning phase one, which includes repairing the ceiling.

“The ceiling rattled. I mean, the entire cathedral shook but the ceiling definitely rattled,” said head stonemason Joe Alonso. “All along in here, that big joint, the cracking that you see, that’s definitely earthquake damage.”

The interior has a massive black net to protect people below from falling mortar.

“We are the place where the nation comes to celebrate, to mourn, to pray,” said Dean Gary Hall.

The work is slow and so is raising the $26 million in private donations it could cost—which means it could be another decade before all the pieces of this national treasure are back where they belong.

Hall hopes the ceiling work can be completed and the net removed within nine months.

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