Mt. Rushmore Studio and Residence

Project Summary

Set in the heart of the picturesque Black Hills, world-famous Mount Rushmore is South Dakota’s “Shrine of Democracy.” Taking 14 years to complete, it was the masterwork of sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Among the most visited sites on the grounds of the memorial is the Borglum Historic Studio. Originally constructed in 1939, this structure served as a second on-site workshop for the sculptor, and today unique plaster models and worker tools related to the sculpting process are displayed in the studio. In the fall of 2017, after a country-wide search by the National Park Service, Rangel Construction Company was chosen for the special task of restoring and renovating the historic Sculptor’s Studio and the adjacent Gutzon Borglum residence. Work on this project included restoration of stucco and exterior logs, replacing historic window sashes, supplying new doors, new restrooms, refinishing historic wood floors, a new elevator, and installing a new handicapped ramp and decorative stone curbing. Due to the historic significance of the structures and artifacts in the studio, Rangel Construction determined that significant planning and protection efforts were necessary in order to perform all the required updates and remodeling without risk of damage to the existing historic components. One of the studio’s most notable features is the scaled plaster replica of the Mount Rushmore carvings, which Borglum used as a prototype for the mountain carving itself. A custom designed, counter-weighted rotating access ladder and ramp was assembled for work over the top of the model, as well as the use of protective barrier walls. In addition, due to the significant of amount of wood finish restorations, staining, and log refurbishing, Rangel Construction dedicated its most highly skilled finish carpenters to the project. After over a year of historic rehabilitation, the Sculptor’s Studio opened to the public in the fall of 2019. This project adds to Rangel’s previous work at Mount Rushmore which included construction of the Rushmore Youth Shelter, an outdoor structure utilized for presentations and informative talks to park visitors. Rangel Construction is proud to have been part of restoring the legacy of this important national monument.

Project Owner: National Park Service
Original contract amount: $1,745,700.00
Final contract amount: $1,861,782.02
Point of contact:
Jason Longshore, Contracting Officer
13000 SD-244
Keystone, SD 57751
303-969-2288
jason_longshore@nps.gov