Sep-29-1990: National Cathedral Completed After 93 Years

NATIONAL CATHEDRAL COMPLETED AFTER 93 YEARS

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On this day in 1990, the construction of the National Cathedral was completed – 93 years to the day its first cornerstone was laid.

The structure is the

  • sixth-largest cathedral in the world;
  • the second-largest in the United States (behind St. John’s in New York); and
  • the highest as well as the fourth-tallest structure in Washington, D.C.

It has been the site for state funerals for Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford.  Presidential prayer services were held the day after the inaugurations of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937, Ronald Reagan in 1985, George H.W. Bush in 1989, George W. Bush in 2001 and 2005, and Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013.

In 2011, the cathedral was damaged during an 5.8 earthquake.  Repairs are expected to cost millions and take several years to complete. The cathedral was closed from August 22, 2011 to November 7, 2011. As of August 2013, the costs of on-going repairs have been pegged at $26 million.

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