The 60-foot bust memorial was the vision of sculptor gutzon borglum and took 14 years to complete. From 1927 to 1941 men and women worked to blast and carve the faces of presidents george washington, thomas jefferson, theodore roosevelt and abraham lincoln into the south dakota mountain.
How Long Did It Take to Sculpt Mount Rushmore?
Mount Rushmore is a national memorial located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four former United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The massive undertaking of sculpting these figures into the side of the mountain began in 1927 and was completed in 1941.
The project was conceived in 1924 by Doane Robinson, South Dakota’s state historian. He wanted to create a “National Shrine of Democracy” by sculpting four of the country’s most important presidents into the side of the mountain. Robinson enlisted the help of sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who was enthralled by the idea of creating such a monument.
The project was funded by the federal government, and began on October 4, 1927, with a ceremony attended by President Calvin Coolidge. Approximately 400 workers worked on the project from 1927 to 1941. Borglum was the chief sculptor, but he was aided by his son Lincoln and a team of sculptors and assistants.
The sculpting process included drilling and blasting the granite surface of the mountain. Workers used dynamite and drills to hollow out the figures’ faces and bodies, and then used a variety of ch