One of Washington, D.C.’s most visited attractions receives $18.5 million gift for refurbishment
With its high-profile centennial looming, the Lincoln Memorial is set to receive its biggest update since it was completed in 1922—thanks in large part to a recent $18.5 million donation by Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, whose previous philanthropic endeavors include upgrades to the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon. Overseen by the National Park Service, the comprehensive renovation is divided into four phases (the first will begin later this year) and will repair the leaky slate roof, the timeworn masonry façade, and the Jules Guérin murals above the building’s iconic inscriptions. A second elevator will also be added, as will nearly 15,000 square feet of functional space.
Designed by architect Henry Bacon in neoclassical style, the majestic memorial is one of the most popular sites on the National Mall, drawing some seven million visitors each year. The project’s current timeline has work wrapping up by 2020, and at no point will the structure be closed to visitors, though portions are expected to be sectioned off while being updated. Rubenstein’s gift coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and was donated to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a $350 million initiative to revive and protect the country’s most treasured sites.