Cathedral Repairs Underway

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 10:16am

Crews work to repair earthquake damage to Washington National Cathedral.

It's been six months since the magnitude 5.8 earthquake in central Virginia rattled nerves around the region and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

At least $15 million in damage occurred at the Washington National Cathedral, where stonemasons are now involved in a lengthy and costly repair process.

It's a daunting task.

Workers have spent much of the past six months stabilizing the structure, removing loose and dangerous pieces, and assessing the overall damage.

Erecting scaffolding around the towers was a big part of the job.

Now it's down to the details of repairing and replacing the beautiful and ornate stonework.

It will take years to put back together all of the pieces of the cathedral, and for the masons and carvers doing the work each piece is personal."

Joe Alonzo is the head stone mason.

He and the two carvers worked on part of the cathedral in the 1980s.

"It's definitely a labor of love for us. We Sean, Andy and I we've been here since the 1980s. We help construct part of the Cathedral. And you know, our blood and sweat is in the building," he says.

Despite the extent of the damage done by the earthquake, Joe says he feels lucky that the damage wasn't worse.
 

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