$12.3M gift to help restore Robert E. Lee's home

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$12.3M gift to help restore Robert E. Lee's home
The historic Arlington House mansion, top, is seen at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, July 17, 2014. The historic house and plantation originally built as a monument to George Washington overlooking the nation’s capital that later was home to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and 63 slaves will be restored to its historical appearance after a $12.3 million gift. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
The historic Arlington House mansion is seen at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Thursday, July 17, 2014. The historic house and plantation originally built as a monument to George Washington overlooking the nation’s capital that later was home to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and 63 slaves will be restored to its historical appearance after a $12.3 million gift from Philanthropist David Rubenstein. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
This is the Great House at Stratford Hall Plantation, the birthplace of Gen. Robert E. Lee, shown in this undated photo, in Montross, Va. Workers at the historic landmark in Westmoreland County got angry telephone calls as news spread about the secret sale of Lee's boyhood home in Alexandria, Va. Lee's boyhood home, which opened in Alexandria as a museum 30 years ago, was sold by the Lee-Jackson Foundation in Charlottesville earlier this month after five weeks of secret negotiations with an Old Town Alexandria couple. (AP Photo/ Stratford Hall Plantation, Richard Cheek)
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, on his horse Traveler, foreground, is surrounded by his officers, at left : Gen. J.B. Hood, Wade Hampton; R.S. Ewell; John B. Gordon. Tall man wearing cap on horseback is Stonewall Jackson. Pointing is Fitzhugh Lee. A.P. Hill stands to the right of the tree. At Lee's right are Gens. James Longstreet, Joseph E. Johnston, Picket and Beauregard. At extreme left is Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. (AP Photo)
This is an undated photo of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is shown on his mount, Traveller, during the American Civil War in this undated photo at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
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By BRETT ZONGKER

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - A historic house and plantation that was home to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and 63 slaves will be restored to its historical appearance after a $12.3 million gift.

Philanthropist David Rubenstein said Thursday that he is giving the National Park Foundation the funds needed for a full restoration of the historic house, originally built as a monument to George Washington overlooking the nation's capital, and its grounds and slave quarters as they appeared in 1860. He says the site crowns the most sacred land in the country, Arlington National Cemetery.

National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis says the 200-year-old house symbolizes U.S. reconciliation after the Civil War but is in poor condition. The roof leaks, and the climate control system is so unstable some artwork can't be displayed.

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