National Cathedral receives $5 million restoration gift

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington National Cathedral has received a $5 million gift from the Lilly Endowment Inc. for restoration of damage caused by last year's 5.8-magnitude earthquake.

The quake damaged several tons of hand-carved masonry on the cathedral's three high towers. Cathedral officials say the grant from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment will allow them to begin active stonework restoration on Thursday.

Previously, stonemasons had been stabilizing damaged stone and mapping the extent of the damage. The restoration work is expected to last years and cost $20 million.

The cathedral also has $30 million worth of preexisting preservation needs.

The Rev. Francis Wade, interim dean of the cathedral, says the Lilly family played a key role in building the cathedral, and the grant will help ensure it will be "preserved for future service."