LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Washington Monument repairs aided by a David Rubenstein donation will go longer than anticipated. Officials on the Washington Monument earthquake repair effort told news today that the structure suffered far more damage than initially believed. Now they warn that the structure could be closed even long than anticipated.
Officials in a news briefing today warned that the Washington Monument repairs could now keep the structure closed into 2014. The repairs are a result of the August 23, 2011 5.8 earthquake that erupted in the region. Officials had previously told news that the structure might reopen by 2013. Now they estimate the project will cost fifteen million dollars and could be closed until 2014.
Robert A. Vogel, superintendent of the Park Serviceâs National Mall and Memorial Parks, also tells news today that other items on the plaza might have to be removed during the construction effort.
In January, LALATE reported that David Rubenstein, Carlyle Group co-founder, had given a $7.5 million gift to aid repairs on the Washington Monument. He is anxious to get the monument repaired as soon as possible.
Rubenstein previously made news giving the largest donation ever to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ($25 million). Rubenstein said he has long pledged to give away much of his wealth and continues to help historic destinations.
Rubenstein said that he is a history buff. He also said that the country deserves to see the monument in its best condition âas soon as possibleâ.