Saving the National Cathedral
When I was a young boy I gravitated to the Washington National Cathedral. Who could blame me? It’s campus, or close, as it is called, is the place people dream of (read: J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter series). Back then it boasted the Flower Mart, flooded with young children from surrounding neighborhoods such as Kalorama, Georgetown, Wesley Heights, Spring Valley, and all points D.C. A magical Bishop’s Garden teaming with lush boxwood and specimen roses, a forest laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted with a bridge that transported you from the wilderness on to the St. Alban’s School sports fields, and a greenhouse filled with gorgeous native plants curated by the Cathedral’s garden staff. And a College of Preachers done in the quintessential medieval Tudor style with a great hall. I could go on for days.
I do. I love the Cathedral. Perhaps you too have a personal connection to it either through N.C.S., St. Alban’s, Beauvoir, or as a chorister as was I?
Why I am writing about it?
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has declared that this national treasure is critically threatened. Currently the Cathedral is running on a very lean budget. Due to the economic downturn over the last decade the Cathedral’s endowment has eroded and revenues from contributions have declined substantially. What was once a $27 million operating budget is now $14 million and what was once a staff of 170 is now just 70. Couple this with $20 million in earthquake damage and an additional $30 million in pre-existing preservation needs and we have a crises.
How you can help?
Contribute to this hometown national treasure that George Washington and Pierre L’Enfant envisioned and has become one of our defacto and most prized spiritual centers for our great nation. To learn more, visit www.nationalcathedral.org.