The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. will start charging an admission fee to tourists beginning in January.
The Washington National Cathedral in the nation’s capitol will start charging an admission fee to tourists beginning in January 2014.
Adults will be charged 10 dollars and children and seniors 6. Sundays, daily worship, and essential services of the church remain free.
Officials of the cathedral say they’re sad to have to implement the fee, but are out of other options.
Budgets have already been cut as much as they reasonably can, including changes in vendors, salary freezes, and a policy prohibiting new hires.
As of yet, they’ve been able to avoid lay-offs.
Their financial woes are a result of dwindling tourism, lower donations, and looming much-needed repairs resulting from the 2011 earthquake.
Of the 26 million dollars needed to fix the damage done to the cathedral, only 7 has been raised.
The cathedral’s director of strategic programs is expecting some backlash over the decision.
He noted that the installation of a voluntary donation box in 2011 upset several area residents and clergy members.
The dean of the cathedral defended the charges saying, “If we just keep cutting and cutting and cutting … we’ll just be kind of a shrinking institution.”