Officials at Washington National Cathedral have announced that the building will re-open to the public on Nov. 12 for the consecration of the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, but millions of dollars are needed to offset restoration and operating costs through the end of next year.
The Cathedral has been closed to the public since the Aug. 23 earthquake, which damaged the central and west front towers of the building. Cathedral officials cited the need to stabilize damaged areas as the reason for the delay. An operation to place 70 tons worth of steel beams in the damaged central tower is ongoing. Worship services and other events previously scheduled to be held at the Cathedral have had to be moved elsewhere while work continues.
Cathedral officials also confirmed that tens of millions of dollars would be required to offset repair, restoration, and operating costs through the end of 2012. The Cathedral hopes to raise at least $25 million through the continuation of an aggressive fund-raising effort. The short-term priorities of these fund-raising efforts would be the stabilization of the building, the re-opening of the Cathedral, and the continuation of its operations and missions
"The Cathedral has been entrusted to us as an important resource and national treasure to serve as the spiritual home for the nation," said the Rev. Dr. James P. Wind, chair of the Cathedral's governing board, the Cathedral Chapter. "We take that trust very seriously and will do everything necessary to restore the building to the condition our national community of supporters has come to expect."
Full restoration of the Cathedral is expected to take years.