First phase of National Cathedral's restoration finished

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington National Cathedral has finished the first phase of work to repair damage from a 2011 earthquake, but the church must still raise $22 million to complete exterior repairs.

The iconic Episcopal cathedral in northwest Washington sustained some of the worst damage from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Officials say the total cost is estimated at $32 million for repairs. Additional restoration work is expected to take years.

Preservation experts say the first phase of restoration focused on the cathedral's interior. The work involved cleaning, resealing joints and repairing the ceiling and flying buttresses, some of the oldest elements. Overhead netting has been removed after the repairs.

Much work remains to repair intricate carvings on the exterior and central tower.

Construction of the church began in 1907 and finished in 1990.

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