Mount Rushmore is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, but there’s more to it than just the four faces its known for.
Led by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, work on the project began in 1927 and was finally completed in 1941. Originally, Borglum wanted a much larger image that included more presidents than just George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
But due to lack of funding and a too-intricate plan, his idea was rejected. Instead, he was able to work on a Hall of Records – a hidden room that would tell the story of America to future generations.
Borglum died before work on the hall could be completed, leaving it unfinished for decades. But nearly 60 years later, the project was revived and the chamber room was finished.
Today, sealed behind a 1,200-pound black granite slab and tucked inside a wooden box are a selection of documents chronicling America’s history: The U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, a biography of Borglum and descriptions of each president featured on the monument.
The hopes are that, thousands of years from now, a future society will find the vault and unearth the records in order to learn more about American history.
Unfortunately, tourists looking to visit the room will be disappointed. It is strictly off limits due to its difficult-to-reach location.
In case you want to look up at it and wonder what it’s like, though, the hall currently stands where the frontal lobe of Abraham Lincoln’s brain would be. That is, the sculpted rock version of Lincoln in Rushmore, not the man himself.