Crack in Washington Monument. courtesy: National Park Service
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A local business man is sharing some of his wealth to help a DC landmark.
Bethesda billionaire David Rubenstein is donating $7.5 million to repair the earthquake damage at the Washington Monument. The 555 foot structure suffered significant damage during last summer's earthquake, which led to the closure and delicate process of identifying the cracks as crews repelled down the monument.
Rubenstein is the co-founder of DC-based Carlyle Group and global asset management firm. He is reportedly worth $2.7 billion.
This is not his first gift to the nation. He just donated $4.5 million to the National Zoo and $13.5 million to the National Archives. He even bought a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation ,which is in the White House, the Declaration of Independence in the State Department, and a rare early map of the United States now in the Library of Congress.
Rubenstein's donation -- made through the Trust for the National Mall-- matches federal funds approved by Congress in December. The government will pay the rest of the $15 million repair bill.
In a statement released Thursday by the US Department of the Interior, Rubenstein said:
"America has been very good to me and I am humbled to be able to honor the father of our country in this way...Re-opening 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."
The National Park Service expects work to take between 10 months to a year after it awards a contract to repair the monument.