This epic sculpture links the faces of four exalted American presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Lincoln. South Dakota's Black Hills provide the back-drop for Mount Rushmore, the world's greatest mountain carving. These 60-foot high faces, 500-feet up, look out over a setting of pine, spruce, birch, and aspen in the clear western air.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into the 6,200-foot mountain in 1927. Creation of the Shrine to Democracy took 14 years and cost a mere $1 million, though it's now deemed priceless.
Throughout 1998, Mount Rushmore National Memorial will celebrate the culmination of a multi-million dollar public-private partnership project to improve visitor facilities at the Memorial. Events throughout the year will offer the public exciting opportunities to come enjoy the new facilities at Mount Rushmore.
The park has recently installed the new Avenue of Flags, leading from the Concession Building to the Grandview Terrace. The flags of the 56 states and territories again fly below the Memorial. The Avenue provides direct and easy access to the Grandview Terrace and Presidential Trail, offering spectacular views of the mountain sculpture.
The 1998 summer season will also include an expanded interpretive program that extends through September. In addition to the exhibits and film at the new Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, rangers will be providing more interpretive walks and talks. Interpretive programs, including the Evening Sculpture Lighting Ceremony, will continue through September. The lighting program will take place at 9 p.m. nightly in the park's amphitheater. This year the amphitheater is fully accessible via the Avenue of Flags to elevators at the new Visitor Center.
Other programs being offered include guided walks to the Sculptor's Studio, Presidential Trail walks, talks on the Grandview Terrace, afternoon children's activities and studio talks. Please check at the park's Visitor Center or call the park at (605) 574-2523 for times of these activities.