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Lincoln Memorial to receive $18.5 million facelift

The Lincoln Memorial will undergo multimillion-dollar renovations thanks to a gift from a D.C. philanthropist. Hatchet File Photo by Olivia Harding | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marissa Kirshenbaum.

The Lincoln Memorial will soon get a makeover courtesy of an $18.5 million donation by a D.C. philanthropist, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The donor, David Rubenstein, is the co-founder of the Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm based in D.C. He has given millions of dollars over the past few years to refurbish iconic locations in the area like the Washington Monument, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, the White House Visitor Center and the Arlington House according to The Post.

The donation will expand the memorial’s interior from 750 to 15,000 square feet, greatly increasing the exhibit space and bathrooms underneath Abraham Lincoln’s figure. The monument will be cleaned inside and out and workers will repair damages to the monument’s structure and internal artwork, The Post reported.

Rubenstein said refurbishing the memorial will make it more modern and will fix damage that has accumulated over the years.

“The idea was to take the basic Lincoln Memorial and reshape it a bit, make it more modern, scrub it up a bit,” Rubenstein told The Post.

The monument will still be open to the estimated seven million visitors to the memorial each year throughout the four-year renovation process, The Post reported. Visitors will be able to see the inner workings that support the large monument as well as graffiti that was supposedly left by the memorial’s original construction workers, as an intentional part of the renovations.

“When you go to the Lincoln Memorial today, you see this great statue of Lincoln,” Rubenstein told The Post. “But there’s no real museum or education center about Lincoln. So I think it would be a good idea to have such a thing.”

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