2-Ton Pieces to Be Removed From National Cathedral

Piecees will be replaced after stonework repaired

By BRETT ZONGKER
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 1:18 PM EDT
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Engineers Inspect Washington Monument

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The spires of the Washington National Cathedral are seen on Aug. The church suffered damage to several spires.

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Portions of a Washington National Cathedral pinnacle will be removed from the church temporarily due to the damage from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake.

The 2-ton pieces will be removed Thursday morning by crane from the southeast grand pinnacle of the central tower. The pieces were damaged by the East Coast quake Aug. 23.

The pieces are being removed to make the pinnacles and central tower more stable until stonework can be repaired, church officials said. Then they will be put back in place.

The cathedral is scheduled to re-open in November, but officials said they'll need $25 million for renovations and operational costs. Renovations could take several years to complete.

The cathedral also arranged with a rappelling team of engineers who inspected the Washington Monument's earthquake damage to evaluate damage to the gothic cathedral. It's not clear when that work will take place.

The cathedral was completed in 1990 after 83 years of work.

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