Picture of the Day: Mount Rushmore as Originally Planned

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800px-Gutzon_Borglum's_model_of_Mt._Rushmore_memorial.jpg

Gutzon Borglum, a member of the Freemasons and the sculptor responsible for Stone Mountain, wanted his defining work, Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota, to be a much bigger undertaking than it ended up being anyway. Finished by Borglum's son, Lincoln, Mount Rushmore as it stands today, with the heads of presidents (from left to right) Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, carved into a granite rock face, took about 14 years to complete. Original plans called for the sculpture, which attracts about two million tourists annually, to depict the four presidents from head to waist, but the project was cut short when money ran out. All told, the entire project cost nearly $1 million.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons; Via: Kottke.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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