Cathedral damage means King ceremony to relocate

Associated Press
Stonemasons, engineers and other officials examine damage to the towers of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, after Tuesday's earthquake. A day after an earthquake rattled the nation's capital, officials begin assessing the damage to some of the city's oldest, and tallest, cultural landmarks including the National Cathedral and The Washington Monument. The monument remains closed after a crack was discovered at the top of the towering white obelisk on The National Mall.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Earthquake damage at the landmark Washington National Cathedral is forcing officials to seek a new site to hold dedication services for the memorial honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The service was to be held at the cathedral on Saturday, but the building will remain closed as a precaution.

Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg says structural engineers and architects continue to assess the damage, which is expected to be in the millions of dollars. Three of the four spires on the central tower broke off and there are major cracks in the flying buttresses at the cathedral's east end.

Weinberg says the building's overall structure remains sound.

The damage isn't covered by insurance, so the cathedral is looking to the public for help making repairs. The cathedral isn't funded by the government.

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