The information Center and the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center are open from 8 am to 5 pm in winter and until 19 pm in summer; hours vary in spring and fall. Begin at the information center, where staff and displays will help you plan your visit to the park and the Black Hills region. From here, go up the walkway toward the sculpture and other facilities. The Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center has exhibits on the carving of Mount Rushmore, a 14-minute film "mount Rushmore--The Shrine," an information desk, restrooms, and a bookstore operated by the Mount Rushmore History Association. The Sculptor's Studio (closed in winter) displays models and tools used in the carving process. Programs are conducted here daily in summer. The concession building, open year-round, has food service and a gift shop.
--from NPS brochure Mount Rushmore
This model included quite a bit of detail from the days when the monument was being carved. In this view you can see the Hall of Records behind the faces and the trail that led up to it.
In this video of the model you can see many of the structures that comprise the model. Sadly my camera wouldn't quite focus on the cable car or the Hall of Records entrance. I'm sorry that I didn't have quite as big of a budget as movie directors and their helicopter-view establishing shots.
Various models were also visible in many different places to show the different visions for the carvings at different points in time.
The interactive blasting video display was a favorite of Amy's. First you select the image you want to see and then press down on the plunger to start the appropriate video. She was really enjoying blowing up the mountain!
The Presidential Trail was a neat idea, winding through the woods. I wouldn't mind taking part in some of the NPS sanctioned tour activities along it and in other areas on a repeat visit some day.
|Some people can't read...|
Private funding has always been important to Mount Rushmore. Since the 1920s, individuals and organizations have contributed to the carving of the memorial, improvements to visitor facilities and preservation of the sculpture. Although the National Park Service operates the memorial, there is little federal money available for major improvements or special projects. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society's most recent fundraising effort, the Mount Rushmore Preservation Fund 1989 - 1998, raised $56 million to improve many of the facilities within the developed area. Today, you can help the National Park Service continue its mission at the memorial and assist with additional projects by donating inside this exhibit.
--from exhibit signage
Tune in next time to see the lighting ceremony and evening views of the monument!