Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 1,278 acres (518 hectares), SW S.Dak., in the Black Hills; est. 1925, dedicated 1927. There, carved on the face of the mountain and visible for 60 mi (97 km), are the enormous (60 ft/18.3 m high) heads of four U.S. presidents—Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. The sculpture was designed by Gutzon Borglum, who had even more ambitious plans for the site. These were abandoned when he died (1941), and the work was finished later that year by his son Lincoln. In all, it took 14 years to complete the figures, which during the summer are visited by more than 20,000 tourists daily. See National Parks and Monuments, table.
See J. Taliaferro, Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.