Defining the D.C. skyline.
The Washington Monument is the prominent feature of the D.C. skyline. Standing at nearly 555 feet tall, the Monument is surrounded by 50 flags.
In 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Washington, D.C., which forced the closing of the Washington Monument due to significant damage. In January 2012, the Trust for the National mall announced that Trust for the National Mall Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein donated $7.5 million to match the funds allocated by Congress to repair the obelisk. The donation was the largest individual gift in the brief history of the Trust, and the restoration work began in late 2012.
Throughout 2013, the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service oversaw the repair process following the extensive damage left behind by the earthquake. On July 8, 2013, David M. Rubenstein, alongside Trust for the National Mall President Caroline Cunningham, flipped the switch that brought the 500 tons of scaffolding encasing the Washington Monument to life with 488 glowing lamps. News cameras rolled while spectators watched in awe as the iconic landmark lit the skyline of the nation’s capital. The lighting ceremony is just one milestone that highlights the public-private partnership between the Trust and the National Park Service that led to the restoration of the Washington Monument.
The reopening of the Washington Monument on May 12, 2014 marked the completion of restoring one of America’s most well-known pieces of architecture. The Washington Monument embodies the spirit of the successful public-private partnership central to the mission of the Trust for the National Mall.