Apr 14, 2023 - Real Estate

Our readers voted the National Cathedral as D.C.'s best building

Bracket: Axios Visuals
Bracket: Axios Visuals

The National Cathedral is the best building in Washington, according to a survey of Axios D.C. readers.

  • The cathedral swept with 75% of the vote over the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Thanks to 1,150 readers for voting in the final round.

The path to victory: The cathedral got here with wins over an infamous pop-up, Union Station, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Cathedral's exterior
It's officially the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Fun facts:

  • Built in the style of 14th-century English Gothic design, it’s the sixth-largest cathedral in the world.
  • It has more than 200 stained glass windows.
A person takes a picture of the stained glass
Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • Pierre L’Enfant’s original design for Washington included a “great church for national purposes,” but construction didn’t begin until 1907.
  • A grotesque of Darth Vader was added in 1986.
A Darth Vader grotesque
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A 2011 earthquake caused $38 million in damages, and about $14 million of that work is left to go, cathedral spokesperson Kevin Eckstrom tells Axios.

  • This summer a gargoyle that was decapitated by falling stone will be reattached, he said.
  • The drawn-out repair project has involved replacing damaged stone, fixing wobbly pinnacles, and reinforcing the structure.
  • Scaffolding remains on the central tower, with fixes still 3-5 years away.
Inside the Cathedral
Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Tickets for sightseeing are available here.


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