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National Cathedral needs $50M for preservation and repairs, enlists help of National Trust
WASHINGTON (AP) ' Washington National Cathedral is where the nation's capital gathers to mourn, to pray and to seek comfort during tragedies. Now it needs help weathering its own financial emergency.
The church draws hundreds of thousands of visitors and worshippers each year. It's the burial site of President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller and has hosted funeral services for Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and other presidents.
But the Episcopal cathedral is facing one of the worst financial binds of its 105-year-old history. An earthquake in August severely damaged its intricate stone work and architecture, with repair costs estimated at $20 million. Aside from that damage, the structure faces $30 million in preexisting preservation needs.
Even before the earthquake, a financial crisis forced the cathedral to slash its operating budget.
Still, cathedral officials say the financial problems won't close the church. The building is stable, and repairs will be made as funds are available.
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