The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most popular of all of the marvelous New York attractions. No trip to NYC is complete without beholding this iconic construction on a Statue of Liberty tour. The Statue of Liberty, officially Liberty Enlightening the World, is constructed from bronze and was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. Lady Liberty sits on Liberty Island at the entrance of the Hudson River, approximately 1.6 miles from New York City’s Manhattan Island.

Dedicated in 1886 the statue was immediately popular. The Statue of Liberty was the first glimpse of America that thousands of immigrants saw when they arrived in New York. Since then the Statue of Liberty has come to symbolize freedom, independence and American values.

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty's History

The idea for the Statue of Liberty was conceived in 1876 by the French government as a gesture of friendship and to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of American Independence, an event that most historians believe contributed to the French Revolution. The agreement with the United States was that the French would build, ship and assemble the statue; and the Americans would build the base and platform. Limited funds on both sides of the Atlantic led to delays and the Statue of Liberty was not completed and dedicated until 1886.

Lady Liberty


New York ’s greatest attraction, Lady Liberty sits atop a star-shaped platform on a pedestal. The Statue of Liberty itself is 151 feet tall, she holds a raised torch in her right hand and a tablet inscribed MDCCLXXVI (1776) in the left hand. One foot is shackled with broken chains, symbolizing hard-won freedom and the crown atop her head has seven points, symbolizing the seven continents of the earth. At the base of the Statue of Liberty is a plaque, engraved with the poem New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, whose last line begins with "Give me your tired, you poor, your huddled masses"...

Restoration


The Statue of Liberty, by the mid-20th century, was in need of repair and private funds were raised, led by former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, for the $62 million project. The site was closed for two years while workmen carefully stripped seven layers of paint from the statue, replaced all of the Statue's 1350 iron "spines" with stainless steel rods, and replaced the torch, which was deemed to be beyond repair. The restored Statue of Liberty was re-dedicated on July 4, 1986, the 100th anniversary of its original dedication.

Interesting facts about the Statue of Liberty

Considered among the greatest New York attractions, the Statue of Liberty was disassembled in France for transit to the United States. It arrived in 350 pieces housed in 217 crates.  Since its dedication, the Statue of liberty has been a prominent part of American popular culture. The statue has even been featured in numerous movies, including Planet of the Apes, Ghostbusters and the Day after Tomorrow, where a snow and ice-encased Statue is shown as witness to the earth’s dramatic climate change. An identical, but smaller, prototype of the Statue of Liberty sits on an island in the Seine River in Paris. Also designed by Bartholdi, she looks west, out towards the Atlantic and her bigger sister. The model for the Statue of Liberty is commonly believed to have been Isabella Eugenie Boyer, a friend of Bartholdi and the widow of sewing machine magnate, Isaac Singer.  The engineering of the Statue was designed by Gustave Eiffel, most famous for his Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Visiting Statue of Liberty Tours

The Statue of Liberty National Park is open every day and admission is free, you must however take a ferry to get to the island. Ferries to Liberty Island depart regularly from Battery Park, at the tip of Manhattan, and from Liberty Park in New Jersey. One ferry fare includes both a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The Statue of Liberty itself has been closed to visitors since September 11, 2001 but the island and viewing platform are still open to the public. The platform houses a museum with displays about the history of the Statue and a glass viewing window where you can see the interior of the Statue. At this museum you will see the original torch and arm of the Statue of Liberty, replaced during the 1984-1986 restoration.

The twelve-acre Liberty Island has lots of room for kids to play and for a picnic lunch. It's a sight every visitor to New York City should make sure to see.

The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York harbor. Liberty Island is open daily for Statue of Liberty tours (except on Christmas) and run from 9:30am - 5:00pm.

Location: at Liberty Island in New York Harbor
Phone: 212-561-4500
E-mail: feedback@statueofliberty.org

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