Washington, D.C.'s most visible attraction will reopen to visitors sooner than expected, thanks to a Carlyle Group co-founder.
David Rubenstein has put up $7.5 million to pay for repairs to the Washington Monument, which was damaged by last summer's freak earthquake in Virginia. The billionaire private equity honcho came forward after Congress insisted that the National Park Service come up with funds to match the $7.5 million it allocated in December.
"I would suggest it hadn't even stopped shaking before David Rubenstein came to me and asked if I could help," Jonathan Jarvis, director of the Parks Service, said.
"This Washington Monument is probably one of the most recognizable buildings in the United States, next to the Capitol and the Empire State Building," Rubenstein said. "It could use a little repair work, and I wanted people to get to see it as soon as possible."
Work on the structure could begin in August and could take more than a year to complete.
Rubenstein has poured some of his fortune into Washington, where Carlyle is based, in recent years. Among the beneficiaries of his philanthropy have been the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution.