Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Courtesy of US National Park Service
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in Keystone, South Dakota, memorializes the birth, growth, preservation and development of the United States of America. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial Park has 1,278 acres.
Between 1927 and October 31, 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the 18-meter (60-foot) busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 150 years of American history. Visitors to the memorial come primarily to view the granite sculpture itself, but also of interest is the Sculptor's Studio built under the direction of the artist, Gutzon Borglum, in 1939. Unique plaster models and tools related to the sculpting process are displayed there.
Recently, ten years of redevelopment work culminated with the completion of extensive new visitor facilities. These include a new Visitor Center and Museum and the Presidential Trail, a walking trail and boardwalk providing spectacular close-up views of the mountain sculpture.
The memorial serves as home to many animals and plants representative of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The geologic formations of the heart of the Black Hills region are also evident at Mount Rushmore, including large outcrops of granite and mica schist.
See also: National parks (United States)