The Washington Monument will be closed well into the next year, the National Park
Service announced Thursday.
The 555-foot-tall obelisk suffered cracking and chipping to its stone blocks on Aug. 23 during a 5.8-magnitude earthquake the rocked the Washington area. Repair work won't begin until late summer and is expected to take up to a year, NPS officials said.
They also announced a donation of $7.5 million – half the estimated amount of the repairs – by billionaire philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. Rubenstein, a co-founder of the global asset-management group Carlyle Group, and the son of a Baltimore postal worker, has donated $25 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and last year gave $4.5 million to the National Zoo and $13.5 million to the National Archives.