Lady Liberty’s Secrets: The Story of the Statue of Liberty

The Evolution of Lady Liberty: How the Statue Has Changed Over the Years

The Statue of Liberty, aka the Liberty Enlightening the World, is a massive statue on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay, United States, dedicated to the memory of the friendship between American and French citizens.

It depicts a lady with a torch in her right hand and a tablet with the adoption date of the Declaration of Independence (which is July 4, 1776) in her left, and the entire structure, including the pedestal, stands at the height of 305 feet (93 meters).

A service ladder of 42 feet (12.8 meters) provides access to the torch, which extends 29 feet (8.8 meters) from the flame tip to the bottom of the handle (this ascension was open to the public from the years of 1886 to 1916).

Visitors can ride an elevator to the pedestal’s observing deck, which is also accessible by stairs, then climb a spiral staircase to the figure’s crown observation platform. At the pedestal’s entryway is a monument containing a poem by Emma Lazarus titled “The New Colossus” (1883).

The United States and France collaborated on the Statue of Liberty to honor the longstanding relationship between their two countries citizens. The Statue’s copper skin was hammered into shape by French artist Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, and its steel skeleton was devised by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel.

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

In 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty after it had been presented to the United States and installed on a pedestal created in the United States on what is now called Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay.

The Statue was extensively renovated in 1986 to commemorate the one-century anniversary of its dedication, by which time millions of immigrants had landed in the United States via the adjacent Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty is still one of the most well-known structures in the world and an ever-present symbol of democracy and freedom.

The History of the Statue of Liberty

The idea for the Statue originated in 1865 with French historian Édouard de Laboulaye. The French people contributed money, and in 1875, work began in France under the direction of sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi.

The monument was designed by Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who had copper sheets hammered into form and put atop a framework of four enormous steel supports.

On July 4, 1884, the American ambassador to France, Levi Morton (later vice president), was honored with the gift of the colossus during a ceremony held in Paris. The finished monument, which measured 151 feet 1 inch (46 meters) in height and weighed 225 tons, was delivered to New York City in 1885.

Later, the pedestal within Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island, designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt, was finished. On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the monument after placing it atop its pedestal.

The History of the Statue of Liberty
The History of the Statue of Liberty

After being converted to electric power in 1916, the torch was redesigned (with repoussé copper sheathed in gold leaf) in the mid-1980s by American and French workers in preparation for a centennial celebration held in July 1986. In 1984, the location was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Since the lit torch was seen as a navigational aid, the Statue was originally under the authority of the U.S. Lighthouse Board. In 1901, when Fort Wood was still an active Army station, the War Department assumed responsibility for the Statue’s upkeep and management.

The National Park Service has been responsible for maintaining the Statue since 1933 after it was designated a national monument in 1924. In 1937, Fort Wood was decommissioned, and the entire island became a national monument.

The monument was expanded in 1965 when Ellis Island, a former important immigration station, was added to the monument’s authority, increasing the total area to nearly 58 acres (about 24 hectares). In 1956, the former Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island.

Until 2018, the Statue of Liberty Museum was located at the Statue’s base, where visitors could see artifacts from the Statue’s history, including the original torch from 1886.

What does the Statue of Liberty stand for?

A symbol represents a concept. The Statue of Liberty, a symbol and emblem of liberty all throughout the world, may be seen at Upper New York Bay. Designed to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, it has come to symbolize the bond between the French and American citizens and their shared pursuit of freedom.

What does the Statue of Liberty stand for?
What does the Statue of Liberty stand for?

The Statue has evolved into much more throughout time. It is the symbol of hope and opportunity for the millions of immigrants who have come to the U.S. in search of a better life. It sparks a fire in the hearts of people everywhere to be set free. It is a symbol of America itself.

Preservation of the Statue of Liberty

American sovereignty over the Statue of Liberty extends to the federal level. Since its designation as a National Monument in 1924 (which also includes Liberty Island in 1937 and Ellis Island in 1965), the Statue has been under the care and supervision of the National Park Service.

With these safeguards in place, it will be as safe as can be. In-depth research on life safety and emergency management was conducted in 2009, and its suggestions have since been adopted, supplementing the current General Management Plan (1982), which focuses on physical preservation and interpretation.

An extensive professional staff and facilities, including a Visitor Information Center, an exhibit on the Statue’s history, and the neighboring Ellis Island Immigration Museum, are necessary to accommodate the Statue’s many visitors. Security checks are performed on all ferry passengers, meaning it’s important to keep the property secure at all times.

Statue of Liberty, USA
Statue of Liberty, USA


What is the address of the Statue of Liberty?

New York, NY 10004.

What are the opening hours of the Statue of Liberty?

You can visit the Statue of Liberty every day from 9 AM to 5 PM.

How to get to the Statue of Liberty?

Neither the Statue of Liberty nor the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration requires admission tickets, but a boat ticket is required to reach the islands. Important information: Statue Cruises is the only company permitted to offer admission to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Don’t buy a ticket from anybody outside the official sellers.

Round-trip ferry trips, an audio tour, admission to the Ellis Island Museum, and access to the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal (the Statue’s crown is temporarily closed to the public) are all included in the price of a ticket. Ferries depart daily between early morning and late afternoon.

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