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Washington National Cathedral awaits post-earthquake facelift

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The Washington National Cathedral is still repairing damage from the 2011 Washington, DC earthquake. (Source: POOL/CNN) The Washington National Cathedral is still repairing damage from the 2011 Washington, DC earthquake. (Source: POOL/CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (NPS.GOV/POOL/CNN) – Tourists and locals are flocking to the Washington Monument, now open after an August 2011 earthquake caused $15 million worth of damage.

It's a celebration, but for the National Cathedral, it's also a reminder that the earthquake's effects still linger.

"There is some sort of sisterhood of earthquake damaged landmarks in [Washington] D.C. We're excited for their milestone, but of course we were a little disappointed we haven't met that milestone yet," Jim Shepherd, Director of Preservation at the Washington National Cathedral said.

Dignitaries and politicians alike have graced this house of worship, and when presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford passed away, the nation came here to mourn.

The cathedral's insurance policy didn't cover earthquakes; they have raised just $10 million of the $26 million needed for repairs.

"Once obvious reason is the level of craft that goes into the cathedral, and if you look at something like the pinnacle here, where all these crockets were hand carved, obviously to repair something like this particularly in areas where you have stone that has spalled off one of the pieces, that has to be re-carved," Shepherd said.

But finding donors is a hard sell.

"We are a house of prayer, not only locally, but on a national basis," Shepherd said. "It's something people should really support."

While the inside was repaired and re-opened almost immediately after the earthquake, large parts of the outside remain twisted and broken. The rooftop that was once opened to visitors is not cluttered with stones and scaffolding.

"We need the building in order to support the mission, and the repairs that we have to do will really ensure that the building is safe to be able to live out that mission," Shepherd said.

Copyright 2014 NPS.gov, POOL via CNN. All rights reserved.