The southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest is the site of four gigantic carved sculptures depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Led by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, work on the project began in 1927 and was completed in 1941. During that time, 400 workers carved the sculpture under dangerous conditions, removing close to 500,000 tons of rock in order to create the enormous carved heads, each of which reach a height of 60 feet. In Borglum’s original design, the four presidents were meant to be represented from the waist up but insufficient funding brought the carving to a halt after completion of their faces. This is my interpretation of the construction of America’s “Shrine of Democracy.
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