Published On: Sun, Jul 27th, 2014

David Rubenstein of Carlyle Group to Restore Robert E. Lee’s Home

David Rubenstein Carlyle

David Rubenstein is funding the restoration of Robert E. Lee’s home, which was once a monument to George Washington and overlooks Arlington National Cemetery. The co-founder of the Carlyle group is a passionate history buff and was dismayed that much of the location, which receives 665, 000 visitors each year, was in such disarray that paint was chipping off the walls and some exhibits had not been updated in 30 years.

David Rubenstein of Carlyle Group to Restore Robert E. Lee's Home

The Arlington house, as it is called, was built by George Washington’s step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, to overlook the new capital and the Potomac River. Robert E. Lee married into the family and transformed it into his plantation estate until the Civil War, when Union soldiers turned it into a military headquarters. After the Civil War, the grounds outside the home became a burial place for the Union dead and eventually evolved into Arlington National Cemetery, where John F. Kennedy is interred.

David Rubenstein of Carlyle Group to Restore Robert E. Lee's Home

Rubenstein hadsdonated several million dollars for the restoration of the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson’s home Monticello and George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. His intention is to make the estate as close to its 1800’s appearance as possible, with authentic slave quarters; “The goal is to remind people of American history, ” Rubenstein said. “I think when you’re restoring history, you should remind people of the good and the bad.”

The work is expected to be completed in late 2015 to 2016, and until then, some parts of the site will be open to visitors. “I think all Americans will benefit from having it restored, ” said Rubenstein.

 Bedroom on 2nd floor of Arlington House shared Robert E. Lee and his wife. A replica of his U.S. Army uniform is laid out on the bed.



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