Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty, a national monument proclaimed in 1924. Located in New
York City, the monument is located on Liberty Island. The Statue of Liberty
is a monumental sculpture that symbolizes freedom throughout the world.
Its formal name is Liberty Enlightening the World. The statue depicts
a woman escaping the chains of tyranny, which lie at her feet. Her right
hand holds aloft a torch that represents liberty. Her left hand holds a
tablet inscribed with the date "July 4, 1776" (in Roman numerals), the
day the United States declared its independence from England. She is wearing
flowing robes and the seven rays of her spiked crown symbolize the seven
seas and continents.
Statue of Liberty is 151 feet high. Its base and pedestal increase the
height of the monument to 305 feet. The surface of the statue is composed
of hammered copper sheets (about 0.01 in) thick that are riveted to an
iron framework. The iron frame was devised by French engineer Gustave Andre
Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The statue rests upon
a concrete and granite pedestal designed by American architect Richard
Morris Hunt. A star shaped wall surrounds the 154 ft. pedestal. The wall
was part of Fort Wood, which was built in the early 19th century to defend
New York during the war of 1812 (1812-1815).
Statue of Liberty commemorates the alliance between France and the United
States during the American Revolution (1775-1783). It was designed by French
sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and completed in July 1884. The French
people donated the money for the statue. The United States built the pedestal
with funds raised by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The statue was
first exhibited in Paris, then dismantled and shipped to New York, and
reassembled at its present location. It was formally dedicated by U.S.
President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty
soon became an international symbol of freedom. It greeted thousands of
immigrants and visitors as they entered New York Bay and arrived in the
United States. In 1903 the sonnet "The New Colossus" by American poet Emma
Lazerus was inscribed in bronze at the base of the statue. It reads:
like the brazen giant of Green fame,
conquering limbs astride from land to land:
at our sea-washed, sunset gates, shall stand
mighty woman with a torch whose flame
the imprisoned lightning, and her name
her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome;
mild eyes command
air bridged harbor that twin cities frame
ancient lands, your stored pomp!"
silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
huddled masses yearning to breathe free
wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me,
lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
prepare for the statue's centennial in 1986, a French-American rehabilitation
project repaired and cleaned the statue, replacing its glass and metal
torch with one covered in gold leaf.
from Battery Park in New York City take visitors to Liberty Island. Visitors
ride an elevator or climb 192 steps to an observation area at the top of
the pedestal. A museum inside the pedestal details the history of the monument
and features the original torch and flame. The full climb of 354 steps
(the equivalent of a 22 story building) takes the most ambivious visitors
from the pedestal to the crown, which offers outstanding views of New York
Harbor and New York City.