The Hidden Chamber Within Mount Rushmore

Gutzon Borglum’s Secret Addition


Photo Credit: National Parks Service

Funding put a stop to many of the monuments original plans. However, the United States government authorized Gutzon Borglum’s special addition. Between 1938 and 1939, a 70-foot tunnel behind Abraham Lincoln’s head was carved into the mountain. This was intended by Borglum to be the entrance of what was to be called “The Hall of Records at Mount Rushmore.”

Here, some of the United State’s most important documents were to be housed. The entrance was going to be 20 feet high and 14 feet wide with doors opening into an 80-by-100-foot chamber. There would also be an eagle with a 38-foot wingspan above the entrance. The inscription above the eagle would read “America’s Onward March” and “Hall of Records.” Here, documents such as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were going to be held in bronze and glass cabinets.