Just outside Keystone, South Dakota in the Black Hills sits a granite Batholith, which is a giant piece of solid rock. There you will find the iconic landmark of the United States: Mount Rushmore. The Batholith makes a perfect canvas for sculpture and the one at Black Hills was a big one. Consisting of four heads of previous presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt that stand a full 60 feet tall.
Mount Rushmore Before The Carving.
Doane Robinson was originally credited for coming up with the idea of sculpting famous faces in the black hills to promote tourism in the area. He wanted to use the faces of western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud and Buffalo Bill Cody, but the artist Danish-American Gutzon Borglum stepped in and said that it would be more fitting to honor key presidential figures of history. Borglum started construction in 1927 and started completing faces in 1934 and continued thru 1939. He then got sick and ended up passing away in 1941 so his son Lincoln Borglum continued his fathers work.
The Intended Final Plan
The initial plan was to have the sculpture be from the head down to the waist of all four presidents, but due to a lack of funding the entire program was shut down in October 1941. Lincoln, who had only taken over head of the operation after his fathers death 7 months earlier in march of 1941, had planned on finishing his father’s plans of sculpting from the head down to the waist of all four presidents.
A profile view of Washington gives good perspective to how big these sculptures are.
The have made an entire National Park around this amazing piece of work
A bird’s eye view of Mt. Rushmore from a helicopter.
Rushmore with a firework show
2 jets flying over Mt. Rushmore