Written by Nell Ziehl, Project Manager
Today, on the anniversary of the August 23, 2011 earthquake, Washington National Cathedral -- one of our National Treasures -- announced a $5 million leadership gift from Lilly Endowment to aid in the building’s restoration.
The Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade, interim dean of the Cathedral, the Rev. Jean Smith, religion program director for Lilly Endowment, and Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust, participated in the press event and public ceremony celebrating the gift today.
Following the announcement of the grant, the Cathedral’s stonemasons set a newly carved crocket stone into the southwest grand pinnacle atop the “Gloria in Excelsis” central tower, the highest point in the nation’s capital. Today’s repair was the first significant restoration work done on the building’s structure; all work to date has been stabilization and documentation.
“The Lilly Endowment today calls upon all who are able to do their part in joining with us in financial support of the National Cathedral, which serves as a symbol of the important role faith plays in America,” said Lilly Endowment President N. Clay Robbins.
As part of the National Treasure partnership, National Trust staff have provided preservation, fundraising and legal expertise as needed, while the Cathedral plans for restoration. We recently awarded the Cathedral a $5,000 Preservation Fund grant for a seismic study and will continue to raise awareness about the Cathedral’s restoration needs, which exceed $50 million.
“The National Trust for Historic Preservation is proud to partner with both the National Cathedral and the Lilly Endowment to bring awareness to the damage caused by the earthquake of August 2011 and the pressing preservation needs facing this irreplaceable building,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Our goal is to ensure that the Cathedral remains a vibrant and beautiful place of refuge for all people.”