While stone carvers chisel new pieces to repair damage inflicted on the Washington National Cathedral by an earthquake last August, fundraisers say the cathedral's restoration fund is $18 million short of the repair cost.
The cathedral, sometimes called "the spiritual home for the nation," was perhaps the hardest-hit landmark in the capital when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck on August 23.
The Gothic cathedral's three towers and the carved pinnacles and embellishments that decorate them were severely affected by the earthquake.
"The repair work, which includes intricate stone carving and detailed masonry, and will require significant scaffolding and large cranes to access the damaged areas, could be completed in five years if sufficient funds are raised immediately," the cathedral said in a news release.
Carvers are fabricating new stones from blocks of limestone taken from the original quarries in Indiana, it said.
A total of $2 million was raised over the past six months to cover the cost of stabilizing damaged stones and protection to allow the cathedral to reopen, it said.
The total repair cost, initially estimated at $15 million, is now expected to be more than $20 million, leaving another $18 million to be raised, it said.