In July of 2014, philanthropist David M. Rubenstein announced a $12.35 million donation, a lead gift in the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, to restore and improve access to Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.
Mr. Rubenstein said, “I am honored to support the National Park Service’s renovation of historic Arlington House built in honor of George Washington and located on hallowed ground atop Arlington National Cemetery. I hope that upon its restoration, Arlington House will appropriately remind visitors of America’s rich history and our country’s good fortune to have such a unique site to honor our veterans, especially those who gave the last full measure of devotion on behalf of this nation.”
The rehabilitation project consists of three distinct components: physical construction and site improvements; advancements for the visitor experience; and enhancement to the museum collections and artifact conservation. Mr. Rubenstein’s donation was also leveraged by the Arlington House Foundation for a “Save America’s Treasure” grant,which is intended to preserve nationally significant historic properties and collections. Additionally, Exciting new interpretive exhibits will enhance the visitor experience by providing multiple perspectives on the Arlington House and the plantation. Target date for reopening the site is December of 2018. Superintendent Alex Romero said of the donation, “While the National Park Service has a very important mission, to preserve America’s most important places, volunteerism and patriotic philanthropy provide a level of excellence that the service could not achieve without those who are willing to donate their hard earned money and valuable time.”