A military honor guard carries the casket of the late President Ford out of the National Cathedral in Washington
A military honor guard carries the casket of the late President Gerald R. Ford out of the National Cathedral in Washington January 2, 2007, after the memorial service for Ford. Reuters

The Washington National Cathedral, the highest point in the capital, suffered damage in Tuesday's earthquake, with three spires in the central tower breaking off of the gothic-style building, a spokesman said.

Richard Weinberg, director of communications at the Episcopal cathedral, said the three pinnacles on the 30-story-high central tower had broken off and were lying in the grass.

A fourth is leaning, said Weinberg. There was other minor structural damage to buttresses and smaller pinnacles.

No one was injured from the damage, but the cathedral -- host to state funerals, and memorial services for many U.S. presidents and the site of several presidential inaugural prayer services -- was closed to the public so the building could be inspected.

The cathedral, which weighs 150,000 tons and took 83 years to complete, is a solid masonry structure made of limestone blocks placed one atop another.

The flying buttresses are also solid stone and they help hold up the walls. The roof is held up by a steel beam structure but does not help hold up the rest of the cathedral.

Several chunks fell out of the roof of Union Station, said Virginia Newton, a tour bus employee who works at the 104-year-old train station.

A Reuters reporter saw three sections of the station's ornate vaulted ceiling that appeared to have fallen down, measuring about 2 feet in diameter.

Several national monuments -- Lincoln, Washington and the Jefferson Memorial -- were all closed after the earthquake, D.C. Fire and EMS agency said in a Tweet.

The agency said other damage reported from the earthquake in Washington occurred at the Ecuador Embassy.