Visitor Enhancements and Deferred Maintenance

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Date: May 24, 2018
Contact: Maureen McGee-Ballinger, 605-574-3115

Keystone, SD – The official start of the summer season offers enhanced visitor enjoyment through extended hours and opportunities to address deferred maintenance projects at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
 
Beginning Friday May 25, everyone is invited to attend the first evening program and lighting ceremony. The program will be offered nightly at 9:00 p.m. through August 11, weather permitting.  August 12 the evening program start time will change to 8:00 p.m. continuing throughSeptember 30. Come and enjoy a variety of interpretive programs that will be offered daily all summer, check the Information Center for specific topics and times.
 
Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and the Information Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Due to rehabilitation work, the historic Sculptor’s Studio and a portion of the Presidential Trail will not be available.  Enjoy a new video enhanced version of the self-guided audio tour available from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Audio Tour building. The Carvers' Marketplace and the gift shop will be open 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., the Memorial Ice Cream Shop 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The parking facility will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.    
 
Changes that began in October 2017 will figure into the summer schedule.  The beginning of a 2 million dollar rehabilitation effort on the Sculptor's Studio and Residence 2, will limit access to the studio. In addition to preservation of the exterior of each structure and the building's critical systems, the studio will undergo significant accessibility improvements. Enhancements will include access to the buildings, an elevator, accessible public restrooms and a new bookstore. The anticipated reopening of the studio is May of 2019. Access to a portion of the Presidential Trail will be limited due to construction on the structures as well as the completion of phase two restoration on the Civilian Conservation Corps stone stairway.  
 
During the next two years, multiple visitor enhancement projects will address deferred maintenance, visitor safety, and accessibility while improving operational and energy efficiency. Beginning late fall of 2018 rehabilitation will be initiated for the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and the plaza paver walkway system. Repairs will address water intrusion along the exterior walls and improve drainage. Visitor center installation includes roof replacement, an enhanced waterproofing system and new stairwells. Interior visitor center work consists of new elevators, upgraded plumbing, and improved heating, ventilating and cooling systems.
 
The plaza paver walkway system from the new visitor center roof down the Avenue of Flags will also be addressed beginning late 2018. The Avenue of Flags will be widened and existing columns removed. All flags with their state information will return in a pattern parallel to the walkway. Changes will improve visitor traffic flow, enhance accessibility, improve egress and provide clearer views of the sculpture.
 
Phase two of the projects will begin in 2019. The second phase will focus on the plaza paver walkway system replacing pavers from the Avenue of Flags to the parking garage. Replacement of the pavers will eliminate deferred maintenance and reduce a high annual corrective maintenance cost caused by the freeze thaw cycle.  Anticipated completion date for all projects is May 2020.
 
Throughout the rehabilitation process the Carvers' Marketplace, gift shop, and Mount Rushmore Bookstores will have open facilities.  Visit the park Information Center or check the park website www.nps.gov/moru for additional information as work progresses. 
 



Last updated: May 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

13000 Highway 244
Building 31, Suite 1

Keystone, SD 57751

Phone:

(605) 574-2523
Park information. Phones are answered 7 days a week. Hours are 8:00 - 5:00 October through May, 8:00 - 10:00 June through mid-August and 8:00 - 9:00 mid-August through September. All times are Mountain Time.

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