Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who designed Mount Rushmore’s iconic presidential sculptures, had also planned to create a Hall of Records behind the face of the Abraham Lincoln sculpture. A chamber was cut into the rock, measuring 70 feet (21 m) in length. It was supposed to contain a vault for preserving significant documents in American history. However, Borglum died in 1941, and never saw his vision realized. According to the National Park Service, the vault was supposed to contain busts of famous Americans and list important contributions to science, art and industry.
The brain behind Mount Rushmore:
- Borglum envisioned an 800-foot (244 m) stairway leading to a grand hall, measuring 80 feet by 100 feet (24 m by 30 m). Above the entrance would hang a bronze eagle, with a wingspan of 38 feet (11.6 m).
- In 1998, officials revived the sculptor's dream, placing a copy of the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, a biography of Borglum, and descriptions of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevlet behind a 1,200-pound (544 kg) slab of granite in the unfinished Hall of Records.
- Borglum was the son of Danish-American immigrant parents. He was born in 1867 in what was then known as the Idaho Territory. .