This statue is a symbol of hope and opportunity for those who seek freedom and prosperity.
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was initially designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in 1876. The statue stands on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor. It was dedicated on October 28, 1886.Bartholdi’s original design consisted of an iron armature mounted on a granite base. In 1903, the pedestal was completed to support this structure.
In 1916, the U.S. Congress authorized the addition of copper skin to protect the statue from corrosion.
More than 50 million people have visited the statue since its dedication.
What was the Statue of Liberty originally supposed to be?
A monument honoring France’s contributions to American history during the Revolutionary War. It would have stood at the entrance to the city of Philadelphia.
Why did it stand in New York City instead?
Because of the efforts of Emma Lazarus, whose son had died while serving in the Union Army. She wrote a poem about her son entitled “The New Colossus,” which became part of the inscription on the base of the statue: “Give me you’re tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
How many times has the statue been moved?
The first time was when the park was being developed after construction began. Workers were digging trenches near the site, so they moved the statue out of harm’s way.
In the early 1900s, workers accidentally discovered the statue’s hidden secrets. They found that there was no supporting column beneath the sculpture. Workers decided to keep the figure where it was but added a short metal pillar to give the effect of a column.
Since then, the statue has only ever been moved once again: In 1986, when workers constructed the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge across the harbor. The bridge required a large hole to be dug under the island, and workers needed to move the statue to make room for the tunnel.
The statue was temporarily placed in front of the Statue of Liberty Museum until the museum opened in 1989.
Is a smaller version of the Statue of Liberty still standing?
Yes! There are two copies of the statue in Paris, one in Place de la Concorde and Square d’Orsay.
What was on Liberty Island before the Statue of Liberty?
When the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor from France in 1884, it was placed on a small island just off the tip of Manhattan. French industrialist Baroness de Stael had commissioned it in1785 as a gift to the people of America. She gave $100,000 for its construction and wanted an American woman sculptor to create the work. The statue was made out of bronze, but it took 14 years for the artists to complete it. In 1886, after it was finished, the figure was moved to the island where it stands today.
The original design called for a different base than what is there today. The original floor, was designed to have eight columns. They were supposed to be the pillars that held up the roof of the pedestal. At some point in time, they were removed and not replaced with the current base. These eight columns would have gone all the way down to the waterline. The plan was for them to hold up the statue and allow visitors to climb up to get closer to the figure’s face. There are still plans to restore these eight columns one day when the statue is closed to the public. However, this restoration will take many more decades because funding has yet to come through.
Today, we see a huge copper-plated steel base plate for the statue. The original design for the base was made of wood and then coated in copper. It was meant to represent the idea of liberty and freedom. The original plan also included four torchbearers who would carry lighted torches over to the statue. These torches would illuminate the figure during the night hours so that people could admire it without having to wait until daylight. The torchbearer statues never came into existence. Only two torches exist today. One is attached to the base of the statue near her left arm. It is made of cast iron and weighs about 1,500 pounds. The other torch remains stored in the museum’s basement today, although you can’t touch it or move it around to see how it looks.
What was on Liberty Isle before the Statue of Liberty?
In 1609, the Dutch West India Company purchased Sandy Hook, Long Island, from Native Americans.
During the 1600s, the Dutch settlers began developing settlements along both sides of the East River in New York City. They named the land Flushing and developed it into a settlement. By 1686, the area known as Lower Manhattan was being settled. By the 1700s, the area known as Midtown Manhattan was built up as well.
By the early 1800s, New York City grew extremely fast due to the opening of the Erie Canal between Albany and Buffalo. Many people traveled eastward via canal boats to work in New York. As the population continued to grow, it became too congested to live close to where they worked. Thus, new housing developments started to appear on Staten Island. In time, there were even more people living in Brooklyn.
By the late 1800s, the city’s population exploded. More people were moving into areas like Upper Manhattan and Queens. In addition to becoming overcrowded, the city was plagued with crime. During the 1880s, New York City became the first major U.S. city to install electric streetlights.
During the Civil War, the Union Army used Fort Wood at the southern end of Staten Island as a garrison. This fort was later turned into a military hospital. After the war ended, the soldiers stayed on the island. In 1873, the army transferred ownership of the island to New York City.
At the start of the 1880s, Mayor William Havemeyer decided that he needed to expand the island. He wanted to add another tower to the lighthouse located at the tip of the island. However, this tower had been damaged by storms several times. To prevent further damage, the mayor commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Saint-Gaudens was an artist born in France. His family immigrated to America in 1860.Saint-Gaudens received permission to build a bridge from the mayor to connect the island to the rest of Manhattan. This bridge allowed him to bring supplies to the island. A storm destroyed most of his bridge. Saint-Gauden’s second bridge was completed in 1890. It was made out of cast iron and weighed 3,000 tons.
He also built the famous “Lady” statue. When the figure arrived, it sat on top of a huge boulder. This boulder, which was nicknamed “Liberty Rock,” was the largest globally at the time. It stood 40 feet tall and weighed 7,500 tons! Saint-Gaudens placed the statue atop the rock in 1903. It required ten years of construction and cost 1 million dollars. Today, the stone sits behind the figure, but the statue does stand on its own.
On July 4, 1918,The World War I armistice was signed. The United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941,when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor. On August 6, 1944, the Allies landed in Italy. On May 8,1945, Germany surrendered, ending World War II.
After the war, New York City was given the task of building the Freedom Tower. The tower would serve as the headquarters for the Central Intelligence Agency. It is currently under construction and will be finished sometime around 2015.On March 17, 1959, President Eisenhower dedicated the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States. The original design featured a torch holder on her left hand. This torch holder was removed during renovations in 1986.New York City acquired control over Ellis Island in 1934. At one point, Ellis Island housed 12 different immigration facilities. Most immigrants came through either the Castle Garden facility or the nearby Castle Clinton facility. Both of these buildings have now been demolished.
When Ellis Island closed down in 1954, many people protested the move. They feared that their families would never see them again. But after all, what choice did they have? The government took the island away from them. Some immigrants couldn’t take it anymore. They jumped off.
What was the original cost of the Statue of Liberty?
In 1886, the original budget for replacing the torch on Lady Liberty was set at $200,000. Only 50percent of this money was spent. That means that only $100,000 worth of work got done! This was not too surprising since more than half of the workers were Italian laborers who didn’t speak English. The workers often worked in substandard conditions. Also, there were problems with transporting materials to the site. For example, it took ten months for granite blocks to arrive. Eventually, the American sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi won the commission to create the new statue.
Bartholdi was born in Switzerland. He loved sculpture and art. At the age of 20, he created his first statue. At that time, he lived in Paris.
His wife, Marguerite, died of tuberculosis in 1902. She passed away before the statue could even be presented. Her death inspired Bartholdi to create a statue of liberty to honor women. His inspiration came from the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
Bartholdi died in 1917. He was 74 years old. He designed the statue himself. As he grew older, the project became harder because his health deteriorated. He was very ill. He wouldn’t live long enough to see the final version of the statue completed.
Other artists influenced Barthold. Many of those artists had traveled to France and saw how modern architecture was being applied in Europe and America.
At first, Bartholdi wasn’t sure if the statue should include any women. One reason was that he wanted to avoid controversy. However, he eventually decided to add a woman in the figure’s right arm. Since1885, the name “Liberty” has included a female symbol. Before then, the term also included a male symbol as well. When Bartholdi made the statue, he asked his friend Charles-Édouard Jeanneret to help him think about the best way to display the figure.
The two men agreed on three points:
1) the statue should stand tall;
2) she should hold a light up high so we can see her in the night sky;
3) the statue shouldn’t appear lonely while standing in New York harbor.
These points are still part of the monument today.
The statue was transported across the Atlantic Ocean aboard a specially built ship called the SS France for the unveiling.
The official dedication date is October 28, 1903. Even though the statue was already erected by that time, it officially opened its doors on May 1, 1911.The design of the New York State Pavilion changed over the years. It started life as an 830 feet wide building.
Later, architects added a 675-foot wing. The building now stretches 3,500 feet. During construction, many people criticized the design because they said that it obscured views of Lady Liberty.
But once visitors get inside and walk around, most people are impressed with the building’s spacious interior. Inside, you’ll nd an impressive collection of exhibits. And the main attraction is the magnicent view of Lower Manhattan. That’s where the statue stands. The museum is open every day except Christmas Day. Admission costs $10.
This is the history behind the statue of liberty!