WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

National Cathedral: Spires Removed For Repair

Play associated audio
 
Engineers attach part of a pinnacle from the National Cathedral to be lowered by a crane for repairs. Three of the four pinnacles on this tower were damaged in the Aug. 23 earthquake that hit the D.C. region.
Armando Trull
  Engineers attach part of a pinnacle from the National Cathedral to be lowered by a crane for repairs. Three of the four pinnacles on this tower were damaged in the Aug. 23 earthquake that hit the D.C. region.

A little rain has not dampened efforts to repair the National Cathedral, something that's been a heavy duty endeavor. Outside the cathedral today, a 500-foot crane lowers a massive stone pinnacle from the very top of spire to the ground.

Standing nearby, stonemason Joe Alonso watches its progress. The 2-ton pinnacle shifted considerably during the Aug. 23 earthquake, and its removal is necessary to repair it, he says. "I didn’t want to be up there breaking it, drilling it, jack-hammering it, whatever it is we were going to do to it to take them apart, because there's eight other stones beneath that that are loose," he says.

Alonso says those stones weigh about 800 pounds apiece and will also be craned down. The removal of stones from two of the pinnacles is expected to be complete by tomorrow. "And then the rebuilding can begin," he adds.

That rebuilding will cost at least $15 million and take a decade. Alonso says that’s because artisans have to repair the more intricate stonework.  The Gothic-style cathedral is expected to reopen sometime in November.

NPR

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Ben Zimmer, language columnist at The Wall Street Journal, explains the origin of the phrase "it's all Greek to me" — and shares a few variants from other languages.
NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes in The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.