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Posted at 08:23 AM ET, 10/13/2011

Parts of earthquake-damaged Washington National Cathedral to be removed

Repairs continue on the earthquake-damaged Washington National Cathedral. View photo gallery. (Nikki Kahn - The Washington Post)
About two tons of stonework are scheduled to be removed from the Washington National Cathedral on Thursday morning in an effort to stabilize the earthquake-damaged central tower.

(Maggie Fazeli Fard - The Washington Post)
Large pieces of the pinnacle in the southeast corner of the cathedral’s central tower will be removed by crane. The work is expected to begin at 9 a.m.

The pinnacle is among the large decorative elements that toppled or shifted in the earthquake that rocked the Washington area on Aug. 23.

Cathedral officials said the site, which remains closed, will eventually be inspected by the same team of engineers who rappelled down the Washington Monument last month.

Both landmarks sustained significant damage in the 5.8-magnitude quake.

The cathedral will need to raise at least $15 million for initial repairs to the stone finials, pinnacles and gargoyles that were damaged. Officials believe repairs could take as long as a decade to complete.

“The short-term priorities are ... stabilizing the building, reopening the cathedral, and continuing its operations and mission,” the cathedral said in a statement last week.

Officials plan to reopen the cathedral, an example of English Gothic architecture located in Northwest Washington, on Nov. 12.

Stay with PostLocal for updates and photos as pieces of the pinnacle are removed.

By  |  08:23 AM ET, 10/13/2011

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