TIME Monuments

Lincoln Memorial to Be Restored With $18.5-Million Donation

February 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/ Getty Images A U.S. National Park employee cleans the floor of the Lincoln Memorial after a wreath-laying ceremony to honor Abraham Lincoln's 207th birthday on Feb. 12, in Washington, DC.

The renovation will include more exhibit space

The Lincoln Memorial will be revamped after an $18.5 million donation from businessman David Rubenstein, the National Park Service announced Monday.

The Presidents’ Day gift will go toward expanding exhibit space and repairing the historic memorial, a monument to former President Abraham Lincoln that opened in 1922. The memorial served as the backdrop to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the live radio performance by Marian Anderson, who had been denied the right to sing at another venue because of her race.

The restoration aims to improve accessibility, repair damaged brick and marble, and add more educational space to the monument.

Rubenstein has previously donated to the National Park Service, contributing to the restoration of the Iwo Jima memorial for the U.S. Marine Corps and the recently completed renovation of the Washington Monument.

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