Saving The Washington Monument

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 10:44am

Private donor steps in to help with $15 million earthquake repair bill.

The plea for a donor to help fund repairs to the earthquake-damage Washington Monument has been answered.

A damage assessment following the August 23 earthquake put the repair bills at $15 million.

Congress recently approved half of that total, telling the National Park Service to find a donor or donors for the rest.

Enter David Rubenstein.

The Park Service is set to announce Thursday morning that the philanthropist will provide the rest of the money.

A co-founder of the global asset management firm The Carlyle Group, Rubenstein recently gave $4.5 million to the National Zoo's panda program.

Park officials are also expected to announced Thursday that the restoration project could take up to a year.

One of Washington's top tourism officials said Wednesday evening that he's glad to hear repairs can begin.

The monument has been off-limits since the earthquake left it with significant cracks.

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