Designed by: Gutzon Borglum
Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, is a monumental granite sculpture located within the United States Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278 acres (5.17 km²), and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. It is managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The memorial attracts approximately 2 million people annually.
Known to the Lakota Sioux as Six Grandfathers, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885. At first, the project of carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. After long negotiations involving a Congressional delegation and President Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional approval. The carving started in 1927 and ended in 1941 with a few injuries and no deaths.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 5,725-foot mountain in 1927, at the age of 60.
Creation of the Shrine of Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million.
Rushmore's granite faces tower 5,500 feet above sea level.
The carvings on Mount Rushmore are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall.
Each head on Mt. Rushmore is as tall as a six-story building.
More that 800 million pounds of stone were removed from Mount Rushmore while carving the presidents.
Each president's face is as tall as the entire Great Sphinx of Egypt, measuring 60 feet from the chin to the top of the head.
The president's noses are 20 feet long, each mouth 18 feet wide and the eyes are 11 feet across.
The workers had to climb 506 steps daily to get to the top of Mount Rushmore.
O ne of America's national treasures, this monument symbolizes how the United States can take themes common in other parts of the world (in this case a frieze) and recreate them in an unprecedented scale. The monument is busts of four American Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. They were chosen to represent the great leaders of the country's first 150 years, and each symbolizes a particular aspect of the country's history: the nation's founding, political philosophy, preservation, and expansion. It took 400 workers 14 years to carve the 60-foot tall sculptures into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. But there is more to this 1,278-acre national park than just the monument. There is also the Sculptor's House, built in 1939 that shows how the monument was made, as well as a number of hiking, walking, and interpretive trails.
- On a clear day, the heads are visible for 60 miles.
- Mount Rushmore is 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) above sea level.
- The busts face northeast toward Rapid City.
- Mount Rushmore was designated a National Memorial in 1925 -- two years before construction began.
- The idea for the monument came from Jonah Robinson of the South Dakota State Historical Society.
- The origin of the name "Mount Rushmore" is not entirely clear. The most popular story is that a New York attorney by the name of Charles E. Rushmore visited the area in 1885 and upon learning that the then-uncarved peak lacked an official name, decided to name it after himself.
Models Used in Shaping Mt. Rushmore Group
Right, general view of work on Mt. Rush-more memorial. Inset, Gutzon Borglum inspecting the sculpture, which calls for carving the faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt on the mountainside. Workers’ tiny figures give an idea of project’s size
Left, measuring model in studio helps workers locate same relative spot on mountainside. Multiplying studio readings by twelve gives the correct distances. Right, giant proportions of the memorial are illustrated by measurements of this huge face.