(WASHINGTON) — The cracked and cratered Washington Monument is now well on its way to full repair after billionaire investor David Rubenstein donated $7.5 million to fix the damage caused by an August earthquake.
Rubenstein’s gift is the largest ever made to the Trust for the National Mall and is his third multi-million dollar donation to the nation’s capital city in the past year.
The Washington Monument has been shuttered since Aug. 23, following a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that literally rocked the foundations of Washington’s tallest monument, cracking its marble exterior, damaging its elevator and creating a 4-foot long, one-inch wide crack through which visitors could see daylight.
With the now $15 million repair fund, half of which was appropriated by Congress and half of which came from Rubenstein, the Park Service said it expected the repairs would be completed by August 2013.
Rubenstein, a prominent D.C. philanthropist, is the co-founder of the global private equity firm the Carlyle Group, which handles $148 billion in assets, according to the firm’s website. He is also the chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a regent at the Smithsonian Institution.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN
Judson Jones, CNN