Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island
Liberty Island, New York Harbor, NY 10004
+1 (212) 363-3200
8:30am-4:00pm (5:45pm in summer) first and last ferry.
Wheelchair accessible (the crown of the statue and the outer balcony of the pedestal are not accessible).
(South Ferry); 4, 5
(Bowling Green); R
, W (Whitehall St.)
The Statue of Liberty stands on Liberty Island, once Bedloe’s Island
, in New York Bay and has been a symbol of freedom for millions of immigrants. It was donated by France to the United States on October 28, 1886 on the initiative of Édouard René Lefebvre de Laboulaye, a French jurist, politician and intellectual, on the occasion of the centenary of the Declaration of Independence.
The authors of the statue were the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (1834 - 1904), who was inspired to make it, after a trip to Egypt, by the Colossus of Rhodes, Gustave-Alexandre Eiffel (1832 - 1923), the creator of the Eiffel Tower in Paris who designed the internal structure and the American architect Richard Morris Hunt (1827 - 1895) who made the pedestal. The construction lasted ten years and was built in France in 350 separate pieces to allow the transport overseas. It’s 46 meters high, but with the pedestal reaches 93 meters, and weighing 204 tons, the statue depicts a woman who tramples on the chains that symbolize tyranny. With her right hand she holds a torch, the current one is a copy of the original which was replaced in 1986 and is plated in 24 carat gold, and with her left hand she holds a large stone table on which is engraved the date of July 4, 1776, the day of the Declaration of Independence of the United States. He also wears a seven-pointed crown. Opinions on the symbolism of the latter is contrasting. According to some, they represent the seven seas and continents, but according to the National Park Service they are inspired by the rays that start from the head of the representations of Libertas, divinity of ancient Rome, that personified the Liberty.
You can visit the interior and reach, after climbing 215 steps, the highest point of the pedestal, then, after another 162 steps, the observatory that is in the crown of Miss Liberty.
The visit is divided into three parts and you can choose whether to do all or only part of them. You can walk on the island around the statue to see it from the outside, or you can climb inside it by choosing to stop at the top of the pedestal or get to the top of the crown. Each of the three choices requires a different ticket to be made before leaving for the island.
The choice to go up to the highest point is certainly the most attractive but you must also consider that once you reach the top there is not much time to admire the view because the environment is small and the people who follow tend to protest when you stop too much in front of the small windows. It’s up to you!
1865 - Edouard de Laboulaye proposes to donate the statue to the United States.
1870 - Auguste Bartholdi is designated as a sculptor.
1876 - Bartholdi began his work.
1878 - The head and shoulders are completed and are exhibited at the Paris Universal Exposition.
1879 - The engineer of the internal structure Eugene Viollet-le-Duc dies and Bartholdi hires Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel to complete the project and overcome the obstacles concerning its assembly. These are linked to his height, weight, particular shape and the strong winds that blow in the bay of New York.
1883 - Edouard de Laboulaye dies.
1886 - The pedestal is completed.
28 October 1886 - Opening ceremony.
1901 - Control of the statue is transferred from the Lighthouse Board to the U.S. War Department.
1907 - The company Otis Elevator Co installs the first lift inside.
1916 - It is illuminated for the first time.
1924 - It is declared a National Monument.
1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt assigns it to the Department of the Interior's National Park Service.
1971 - The Vietnam Veterans Against the War group occupies the statue for three days in protest against the Vietnam War.
1972 - President Richard Nixon opens the American Museum of Immigration.
1984 - Restoration work begins; UNESCO World Heritage Site.
1986 - Restoration work completed.
2001 - September 11 - The island is closed following the terrorist attacks and is reopened on December 1.
2004 - The pedestal is reopened.
2009 - On 4 July, access to the crown is also reopened.
2011 - On 28 October, the 125th anniversary of its inauguration is celebrated.
Kenneth T. Jackson, Lisa Keller, Nancy Flood
. The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition
. Yale University Press, 2010. pp. 1239-1240
Statue Of Liberty
(National Park Service)
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty Arrived in New York in 350 Pieces
The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation