David Rubenstein Donates $7.5 Million to the Trust for the National Mall
The Trust for the National Mall announced today that it has received a $7.5 million donation from David Rubenstein, Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group. The gift will provide the funding required to repair the Washington Monument, which suffered extensive damage from a 5.8 magnitude earthquake on August 23, 2011.
"David Rubenstein is a true patriot, and we are grateful for his significant and generous contribution to restore the Washington Monument, one of America's greatest treasures," said Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall. "David's leadership demonstrates how the public/private partnership of the Trust and the National Park Service will successfully drive the restoration and enhancement of the National Mall, home to the hope, history and heroes of the America."
"America has been very good to me and I am humbled to be able to honor the father of our country in this way," said Rubenstein. "Reopening the monument as soon as possible will help ensure that many people get to learn about American history and the unique role that George Washington played in the birth and life of our great nation."
According to a report released by the National Park Service, inspectors found numerous cracked and chipped stones, including six large cracks that extend through the marble exterior of the Monument's pyramidion, that have left the 127 year-old structure extremely vulnerable. The Monument also suffered missing mortar, the displacement of components of the lightning protection system, and damage to the elevator counter weight frame.
Congress recently allocated $7.5 million to repair the Monument with the expectation that the National Park Service in partnership with the Trust for the National Mall would raise an equal amount in private donations. David Rubenstein's generous contribution meets that objective.
"Millions of people have seen the dramatic video of chunks of mortar and limestone raining down on visitors in the monument as the quake rocked the east coast last August," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "While no one was hurt, the damage to this iconic obelisk was substantial and it has been closed to the public ever since. Thanks to David's gift and the support of the American people, the National Park Service will once again welcome visitors to the Washington Monument and share the story of our nation's first President."
The National Park Service expects to award a contract to repair the monument by this August; work is expected to take 10-12 months.
The Trust for the National Mall is the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall. For more information on the Trust for the National Mall and the work that is being done to restore America's Front Yard, please visit www.nationalmall.org.