Photographer: Merle Bishop

Statue of Liberty

New York, New York

Built: 1875-1884 / 1886

Construction: Copper sheeting over steel frame

Status: Inactive (national monument)

Day Mark: Green (copper patina)

Height: 305 feet, 151 feet from base of statue to tip of torch.

Location: Bedloe Island / New York Harbor

Access: Liberty Island is only accessible by ferry service available daily from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ.  A round trip ticket includes stops at both Liberty Island and Ellis Island.  In order to have time to climb to Liberty's crown viewing area, visitors should plan to arrive at the statue early in the day. On peak visitation days the wait and the climb can take more than three hours.

Photo Above Right: The original 1886 torch, located in the base of the statue.

Photographer: Merle Bishop

Here you can see the Statue of Liberty with the unique New York skyline in the background.

Unfortunately this will never be the same without the two World Trade Center Towers.

We dedicate this page to the thousands who lost their lives in the horrible act of terrorism on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

The World Trade center was destroyed but Lady Liberty still stands strong with the will and determination of the United States of America. God Bless America !

HISTORY: As one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, the Statue of Liberty is often not thought of as a lighthouse.  Congress authorized the president to accept the statue from France in 1877. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution.  The statue was designed with glass inserts in the sides of the torch held high by Lady Liberty which would serve not only as a symbol of freedom but as a light to help ships safely navigate into the harbor.  The Statue was placed upon a granite pedestal inside the courtyard of the star-shaped walls of Fort Wood (which had been completed for the War of 1812.)  After the dedication of the statue on October 18, 1886, President Grover Cleveland turned the statue over to the U. S. Lighthouse Board two weeks later.  The "torch" held high in Lady Liberty's right hand, then known as Liberty Enlightening the World, was lit on November 22, 1886.  A power plant was specifically located on Bedloe Island (now Liberty Island) for the purpose of generating the electricity for the light that beamed from the torch.  Lady Liberty was a real lighthouse for 16 years, from 1886 to 1902, when she was under the care and operation of the U.S. Lighthouse Board. A keeper maintained the electric light in the flame of the torch that could be seen for 24 miles at sea. This was actually the first lighthouse in the United States to use electricity for the beacon. The Lighthouse Board extinguished the "flame" on March 1, 1902, and turned the station over to the War Department.  Due to local pressure, the War Department maintained a light in the statue's torch for several more years.  The statue and the island came into the National Park System in 1937. The Statue was extensively restored in time for her spectacular centennial on July 4, 1986.

The Statue of Liberty, also known as "Liberty Enlightening the World," remains a symbol of hope to millions of people who see her standing in New York harbor. Liberty Island can be reached by passenger ferry.  Visitors climb 192 steps in order to reach the top of the pedestal where there is an observation deck, or 354 steps to reach the crown.  The 25 windows in the crown symbolize gemstones found on the earth and the heaven's rays shining over the world. The seven rays of the Liberty's crown represent the seven seas and continents of the world. The tablet which the Statue holds in her left hand contains the date (in Roman numerals) "July 4, 1776."

Photo courtesy of: U.S. Coast Guard

 The total weight of copper in the Statue is 62,000 pounds (31 tons) and the total weight of steel in the Statue is 250,000 pounds (125 tons). Total weight of the Statue's concrete foundation is 54 million pounds (27,000 tons). The copper sheeting of the Statue is 3/32 of an inch thick or 0.37mm.  Winds of 50 miles per hour cause the Statue to sway 3 inches (7.62cm) and the torch to sways 5 inches (12.70cm).  Upon entering the base, visitors will immediately notice the original torch which displays the glass illuminated with an internal electric light.  This torch was replaced during the statue's major renovation in the 1980's with a solid torch with a gold color which is illuminated by reflective light giving the appearance of a lit flame.


Submitted by:  Merle Bishop


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