While we came to see the mountain sculpture of Crazy Horse, we found much more. The Welcome Center houses a museum of artifacts from Indian culture and many exhibits about the mountain work.
This is the starting point once you enter. You can get tickets for the bus ride to get a closer look at the mountain here or ask questions. The photo above the counter depicts the sculpture Korczak Ziolkowski and Chief Henry Standing Bear during the dedication of the memorial on June 3, 1948. There are also two theaters behind the walls showing short films.
There was a raffle drawing where you could win a motorcycle or this rifle. I liked the rifle so I took a picture rather than enter the drawing.
There were many exhibits in the Indian Museum including this one that shows various colors of beads that were used to make decorative clothing and other pieces of art.
Once through the museum you are brought out to a large deck that offer a wonderful view of the mountain under construction.
This view is one of the most photographed. It is the 1/34th scale model in the forefront with the actual mountain in the background. It gives a real sense of what the mountain will look like when completed – in another 50 years or so by some calculations.
This inscription by the original sculpture is part of the 1/34 scale model. It presents a sense of how important Ziolkowski thought this project was not only to himself but to the Indian culture.
In the next room off of the deck are many photos, models, and exhibits related to the construction of this project. The pictures above give a time-lapse sense of the shaping of this mountain.
This picture shows the outline of what is to come in the future. The stats below the picture are numbers related to the size of the project. But this is much bigger than the numbers alone can tell you. The face alone is larger than any one face of Mt Rushmore which is only 10 miles away.
Another view of a smaller scale model up against the real mountain.
One of my favorite pictures encompassing the model of the land as envisioned, the 1/34 scale model out on the deck, and the real mountain in the background. It shows the past, present, and future all in one picture.
Beyond the rooms is an outdoor area that houses this sculpture and a few others including the Nature Gate.
In addition to the Indian themed sculptures is this memorial to the victims of 9-11.
There is actually much more than pictured here. There is the Laughing Water Restaurant where you can eat while gazing at the view of the mountain, Korczak’s studio & home, and conference facilities among others.
This center not only gives you a good view of the work on the mountain, it is full of Indian history. There is also lots of information about the construction of the monument. Basically there is a balance of art, history, and science throughout the facility.
Even more astounding is the fact that this is being done without any public funds. It is entirely funded through the admissions and private donations.
This is a “must see” place to visit. And the interesting part is that because it is a work in progress, each visit will be unique for the next 50 years or so as the mountain takes shape during each visit.
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