You can view the previous event schedule below. check back for the 2020 schedule, which will be released in May.

TT01 - Technical Tour: Behind the Scenes of Washington National Cathedral

Wednesday, October 9 from 8:55 AM to 11:50 AM « Back

The Washington National Cathedral, the second-largest cathedral in the United States, was completed in 1990, featuring a dizzying array of whimsy and wonder from its 112 gargoyles to the 215 stained glass windows.  Tragically in 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the east coast and caused $34 million in damage to this national landmark.  Climb the Cathedral gutters and witness up close the earthquake damage and repairs underway.  Hear from James W. Shepherd AIA, LEED, Director of Preservation and Facilities, who is overseeing the repairs, about the history of the Cathedral, the state of the current and future repairs and go behind the scenes to view rarely seen nooks and crannies of this beautiful gothic structure.

Upon completion of this tour, participants will be able to:
• Discuss the history of the Cathedral and the challenges of repairing a historically significant building
• Explore the human safety concerns associated with unaddressed earthquake damage and how the Cathedral has prepared for future disasters
• Assess structural damage caused by a natural disaster and identify methods and results of repair work undertaken
• Explore the repair strategies implemented, including how the cathedral plans and implements projects based on available funds

Tour Leader:
James W. Shepherd, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Preservation and Facilities, Washington National Cathedral


The shuttle bus will depart from the Gaylord PROMPTLY at 9:00am.  Be sure to check-in for the tour in the Maryland Ballroom C Lobby no later than 8:55am.  The trip to the cathedral will take approximately 30 minutes.  The tour will last 90 minutes, approx. 9:30-11am.  The bus will return to the Gaylord promptly upon completion of the tour, at approximately 11:10am.  The bus will arrive back at the Gaylord by approx. 11:50am.

Be prepared for stair climbing, close quarters, and heights.  The tour travels to areas of the Cathedral not accessible via elevator and contains many steps. 

If you have a disability and need assistance with physical requirements, please contact Jennifer Hughes at 972-536-6388 or at least one week prior to the tour.

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT.  To be added to the waiting list, e-mail


Education Tracks: Topic: Building Performance, Topic: Materials & Methods/ Products, Topic: Construction, Topic: Design, Topic: Specifications, Audience: Architect/ Designer, Audience: Contractor, Audience: Engineer, Audience: Specifier, Audience: Owner

Event Type: Technical Tours > Event