Billionaire businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein has donated $18.5 million to repair and restore the Lincoln Memorial.
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The donation from Rubenstein, the co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks was announced on Monday, President’s Day. In the past few years, he has given tens of millions of dollars to fix national parks and historical institutions.
His most recent gift will allow the National Park Service to repair damaged brick and marble masonry and clean the memorial; conserve the Jules Guerin murals located above the memorial’s inscriptions; create approximately 15,000 square feet of functional space including exhibit, education and research areas; and add an elevator to improve accessibility, the park service said in a statement.
“These improvements will hopefully enable more people to better understand and appreciate Abraham Lincoln’s remarkable leadership during one of the most trying periods in American history,” Rubenstein said in the statement. “I am humbled to be a part of honoring this great man and preserving this iconic memorial for future generations.”
His donations over the past several years for parks and institutions total over $35 million. They went to the Washington Monument, George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, the Robert E. Lee Memorial and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.
Rubenstein, 66, of Bethesda, Maryland, is worth $2.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager based in Washington, D.C.