David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, will make a $7.5 million donation to help pay for repairing the Washington Monument, which was damaged by last summer's earthquake.
An encounter last year with National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis planted the idea of the donation in his head.
"I told him I thought it important that the monument be opened as quickly as possible, and if I could help in any way, I'd be pleased to do so," Rubenstein said. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes described Rubenstein as having a "generous and patriotic spirit."
The donation allows for the repair process of the monument to begin in earnest. "With David Rubenstein's gift, and with matching federal funds that were approved by Congress in December, we now have the funds necessary to repair this damage," Hayes said. Damage to the monument includes cracks of up to one-inch thick running the full height of several marble panels.
Preliminary repairs are already under way, including work on the elevators and weatherization of the monument to prevent further damage.
The heavier lifting is expected to begin by late summer or early fall and is expected to last a year.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.