Christchurch Cathedral to be Demolished

Sad news from New Zealand this morning: CNN is reporting that the remains of Christchurch Cathedral, whose shattered spire became a symbol of the city's earthquake devastation, will be dismantled after church officials said the quake had damaged the structure of the iconic church beyond repair.

Bishop Victoria Matthews said the existing church walls would be brought down to about 10 feet and the base of the church kept for use as a prayer garden.

Officials had thought part of the building could be saved but said on Friday that recent aftershocks had made the existing structure unsound.

The cathedral—one of the city's best-known historic buildings—was severely damaged in the earthquake on February 22, 2011, its neo-gothic spire crashing to the ground. The quake destroyed many buildings in Christchurch's central business district, including several hotels, and killed 185 people.

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