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History of the Statue of Liberty New York: Height, Location & Timeline

There are numerous monuments in the world unveiling their conspicuous place in the long stretches of time. One of those historical symbols is the Statue of Liberty. This piece of writing will be shedding light on history of the Statue of Liberty in New York. It will, undoubtedly, be much informative for you to ponder over the State of Liberty facts and history.

History of the Statue of Liberty New York Height, Location & Timeline
(Image: © Shutterstock)

Origin of Statue of Liberty

It was in 1865 when the Frenchman Édouard de Laboulaye suggested the idea of providing the people of the United States with a historic gift from the inhabitants of France. Laboulaye, an ardent supporter of America, desired to mark the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, as well as to celebrate France’s great bond with America. He was similarly moved by the recent abolition of slavery in the U.S., which promoted the values of equality and liberty in America.

Sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi participated in the proclamation of Laboulaye. Bartholdi, of the same mind as the cause of Laboulaye, started to conceptualize the monumental structure that would soon be recognized as Liberty Enlightening the Globe – Statue of Liberty meaning.

The architecture of Bartholdi contained a lot of symbolism: her crown reflecting light with its spikes evoking sun rays reaching out to the globe; the tablet, engraved in Roman numerals on July 4, 1776, acknowledging American independence; to symbolize the demise of slavery, Bartholdi set at the base of the statue a broken shackle and chains.

A joint effort between France and the United States to celebrate the enduring friendship between the inhabitants of the two nations was the Statue of Liberty. As far as the question, ‘what is the statue of liberty made of’ is concerned, the statue itself was made by the French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi from sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the famous Eiffel Tower, modeled the steel structure of the statue.

The Statue of Liberty was then given to the United States and placed on a small island in Upper New York Bay on top of an American-designed pedestal, now regarded as Liberty Island, and dedicated in 1886 by President Grover Cleveland. Over the years, as millions of foreigners came to America from nearby Ellis Island, the statue stood tall; in 1986, in celebration of the centennial of its dedication, it underwent a significant renovation. The Statue of Liberty today remains a lasting emblem of independence and democracy, as well as one of the most recognizable mountains in the world.

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Assembly & Dedication

Although work on the actual statue went on in France, fundraising activities for the pedestal continued in the United States, involving competitions, rewards and exhibits. Near the end, Joseph Pulitzer, the leading New York journalist, used his paper, The Country, to collect the last necessary funds. Within the courtyard of Fort Wood, a fortress constructed for the War of 1812 and located on Bedloe’s Island, off the southern tip of Manhattan in Upper New York Bay, the statue’s pedestal was crafted by the American architect Richard Morris Hunt.

statue of liberty construction
Statue of Liberty construction 1883. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs/The New York Public Library

In 1885, the statue, which was separated, packed in more than 200 crates, was finished by Bartholdi and transported to New York, arriving aboard the French frigate Isere that June. Later on, as far as the Statue of Liberty construction is concerned, the staff reconfigured and positioned the statue on the pedestal over the next four months; its height reached 305 feet (or 93 meters), including the pedestal. In front of thousands of people, President Grover Cleveland formally unveiled the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886.

Ellis Island

In 1892, on Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island in Upper New York Bay, the U.S. government opened a federal immigration station. About 12 million immigrants were processed on Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954 before obtaining permission to enter the United States. Some 5,000 to 10,000 individuals moved through every day from 1900-14, during the peak years of its service.

Ellis Island
Credit: Getty Images

The Statue of Liberty, towering over nearby New York Harbor, gave a glorious welcome to everyone passing through Ellis Island. A sonnet is carved on a plaque at the entrance to the pedestal of the statue named “The New Colossus,” published as part of a fundraising contest by Emma Lazarus in 1883. The most famous passage refers to the role of the statue as a welcoming sign of liberty and democracy for the millions of foreigners who have come to America to pursue a new and better life: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The Statue of Liberty over the Years

The U.S. until 1901, The Statue of Liberty was run by the Lighthouse Board, as the Statue of Liberty torch was a navigational aid for sailors. After that date, it was put under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of War because of the role of Fort Wood as a still-operational army post. The federal government rendered the statue a national monument in 1924, and in 1933 it was moved to the National Parks Service’s care. Bedloe’s Island was renamed Liberty Island in 1956, and Ellis Island became a part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, more than a decade after its closure as a federal immigration station.

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As far as the question, ‘why is the statue of liberty green’ is concerned, the corrosion of the copper skin of the Statue of Liberty by exposure to rain, wind and sun had turned the statue a conspicuous green color (statue of liberty green paint), characterized as verdigris, by the beginning of the 20th century. In 1984, in time for its centennial celebration, the statue was closed to the public and underwent a major renovation.

inside the statue of liberty
Inside the Statue of Liberty

The United Nations named the Statue of Liberty as a World Heritage Site even as the renovation began. On July 5, 1986, during a centennial celebration, the Statue of Liberty was reopened to the public. Liberty Island was shut for 100 days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; the Statue of Liberty itself was not reopened for entry by tourists until August 2004. The crown of the statue was reopened to the public again in July 2009, but tourists could make a reservation to ascend to the top of the pedestal or to the crown.

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