Thursday, March 17, 2016

The National Cathedral

Looking north, the humble All Hallow's (all dry laid) amphitheatre walls lead the eye up to a crescendo of magnificence and architectural wonder: this is the tenth largest Cathedral in the world.

We are visiting Washington DC this week. The National Cathedral was on our list yesterday. Quite magnificent. 

I looked up one of the four massive columns supporting the largest vault over The Crossing of the Cathedral and was surprised to discover that it appeared to have a noticeable twist near the top! Could this be evidence of the 2011 earthquake?

I've drawn a red line to show the orientation of the twist

I read later on a sign that... 'At least once during Washington National Cathedral’s 83 year construction period the Cathedral withstood a magnitude 4.3 earthquake without being damaged. The year was 1969 and the earthquake’s source was nearby West Virginia. By contrast, the power of the 2011 earthquake released hundreds of times more energy than the 1969 earthquake, producing significant forces throughout the building and rotating some of the topmost Cathedral stones: pinnacles on the towers and buttress piers.'

On another sign I read that the 2011 earthquake did 25 million dollars damage to the Cathedral which they were still raising money for to be able to complete the repairs.

South Side

North Side

Two photos Mary took showing how very different an angle the 7th (last) buttress has than the six others 
on the North side.  And by comparison, the photo of south side of the Cathedral, which shows the 7 buttress angles all parallel, which presumably indicates the 7th north side buttress is not symmetric with its southern counterpart, again presumably evidence of damage caused by the 2011 earthquake?

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