The contribution matches the amount allocated by Congress to fix chipped stones and cracks that left the structure unsafe, the Trust for the National Mall said today. The monument has been closed since August, when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia rocked the capital.
“America has been very good to me, and I am humbled to be able to honor the father of our country in this way,” Rubenstein said of the monument, dedicated to the first U.S. president, George Washington.
The National Park Service plans to award a contract by August for work that will take 10 to 12 months, the trust said. In addition to the cracks and chipped stones, the monument suffered from damage to the elevator and the lightning protection system, according to the trust, a nonprofit group that works with the Park Service to improve the mall.
“While no one was hurt, the damage to this iconic obelisk was substantial,” said Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, in the trust’s statement.
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