A rich, generous history buff says he'll pony up the $7.5 million needed to fix the earthquake damage to the Washington Monument. It's going to take $15 million to fix the cracked obelisk, and only half of that is coming from public funds that Congress allocated in December. On Thursday, the National Park Service plans to announce that billionaire David Rubenstein, a co-founder of the Carlyle Group, will donate the other half. His reason: "I wanted people to get to see it as soon as possible." That's great of him, but unfortunately it's still going to take about two years to fix, the Associated Press reports. The August quake cracked the monument, which led to water damage.
Rubenstein's gift is really generous, but it looks like he can easily afford it: He's no. 139 on the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans, with a net worth of $2.7 billion. So $7.5 million to fix a monument really is a drop in the bucket. The Park Service should hit him up for a little more, as it's trying to raise $350 million for repairs and upgrades all around the National Mall. Maybe he can get a plaque out of the deal.