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The monument’s sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, initially planned to build a hidden room called the Hall of Records, the purpose of which was to chronicle the history of the United States.
Unfortunately, Borglum died before being able to complete the room. It would have been 80 feet by 100 feet with access by an 800-foot granite staircase. The Hall of Records was supposed to contain such items as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence with the addition of sculptures of famous American.
The purpose of the Hall of Records is to serve as a time capsule for future civilizations. Without the Hall of Records, Borglum said, “you might as well drop a letter into the world’s postal service without an address or signature, as to send that carved mountain into history without identification.”
After the four presidents’ heads had been completed, the rock behind the head of Lincoln was drilled into. However, the project was halted when Borglum died in 1941. It was revived in 1998.
Although the Hall is not what Borglum envisioned, work has been done to further that goal. Today, the Hall of Records contains porcelain enamel sculptures of documents important to American history.
Another item is a teakwood box that contains a biography of Borglum and presidents that are locked in a titanium vault. All of these are locked under a 1,200-pound granite capstone. Tourists are unable to access the Hall of Records since it is out of reach.
The Hall of Records was featured in the movie National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. The movie uses aerial shots of the exterior, but the interior was built by set designers for the movie.
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