D.C.

Washington National Cathedral to reopen

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The Washington National Cathedral announced Tuesday that it will reopen on November 12, which will be the first time the Cathedral reopens since the D.C. earthquake more than a month ago.

The damage from the quake, however, is estimated to rise into the tens of millions of dollars. The Cathedral will seek to raise at least $25 million in an aggressive fundraising effort, but say the cost could be higher than that.

"It's really shocking, I know they said there was minor damage,” choir singer Jolie Dunham said. Dunham rehearses on the grounds as a member of the choral arts society of Washington.

"It's sad, heartbreaking that it's going to be that much money,” she said. “Where are they going to get it? That's the big question.”

The interim dean of the Cathedral said the help of many across the region has sustained the cathedral after the quake.

"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,” said the Right Rev. John Bryson Chane, the eighth bishop of Washington.

The Cathedral has been closed since the Aug. 23 earthquake damaged portions of the building, including the central and west front towers.

A crane is in position Tuesday as scaffolding is being constructed around the Gothic church's central tower that sustained the most severe damage.

D.C. resident Erica Rissi says the cathedral that welcomes the country to commemorate, celebrate, pray and mourn should be restored.

"It's a national treasure, I think it's a priority to fix,” Rissi said.

The chair of the Cathedral's governing board, the Cathedral Chapter, agrees.

“We … will do everything necessary to restore the building to the condition our national community of supporters has come to expect,” the Rev. Dr. James P. Wind.

The cathedral is expected to re-open in time to consecrate the ninth bishop of Washington, the Rev. Maryann Buddie, a spokesperson said.

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