A spokesman told the Associated Press that at least three of the four pinnacles — the stones at the top of the spires — on the center spire have fallen off and that the center spire appears to be leaning.
The building has been evacuated and stonemasons will estimate the damage.
The first foundation stone of the church was laid in 1907 and the final finial was installed in 1990. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The church, formally named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is the fourth-tallest structure in the capital city and the second largest church in the U.S. The state funerals for presidents Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford were all held at the cathedral, as was the memorial service for Harry S. Truman. The funerals of many other dignitaries were performed there, as well as the traditional presidential prayer service the day after inaugurations.
Creative Commons image via Wikimedia.
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.