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New York's Top 10 : Statue of Liberty

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The figure presiding over New York harbor, officially titled “Liberty Enlightening the World,” has been a harbinger of freedom for millions since her inauguration by President Grover Cleveland in 1886. The statue, a gift of friendship from the French to mark the U.S.’s 100th birthday in 1876, was designed by the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who devoted 21 years to the project. Slow fundraising on both sides of the Atlantic delayed the unveiling by 10 years, but no problem was encountered financing the $100 million restoration for the statue’s 100th birthday. Her unveiling on July 3, 1986, was the occasion for the largest fireworks display ever seen in the U.S.

  • Take the 1 train to South Ferry, 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green, or the R or W train to White-hall St to get to Battery Park by subway.

  • Ferries leave from Castle Clinton, Battery Park, every 30–45 mins between 8:30am–4pm daily (winter from 9:30am)

  • www.nps.gov/stli


Gateway to the New World

The Statue of Liberty has symbolized the beginning of a new way of life for millions of immigrants fleeing poverty and hardship. She is an enduring symbol of the freedom and hope offered by the U.S. and the subject of Emma Lazarus’s poem The New Colossus:…Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door”.


Crowds can be heavy, so an early departure is advised. A cafeteria is available on site.


For the best photos, sit on the right of the boat going out, the left coming back.




Top 10 Features
  1. Castle Clinton National Monument

    Built as a fort in 1807, it now serves as a visitor center for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island visitors. The building exhibits panoramas of New York history.

  2. Battery Park

    With statues and monuments honoring everyone from New York’s first Jewish immigrants to the U.S. Coast Guard, the park is also a great spot for sea-gazing.

  3. Boat Ride

    The views from the ferries that carry a constant stream of visitors from Manhattan and Jersey City to the Statue of Liberty and on to Ellis Island are dramatic.

  4. Close-up View of the Statue

    A close-up view reveals the awesome size of the Statue of Liberty. Dominating New York harbor, she stands 305 ft (93 m) tall and weighs 200 tons. Her right arm carrying the symbolic torch is 42 ft (13 m) long while her index finger measures 8 ft (2.4 m) and dwarfs most men.

  5. Pedestal

    Richard Morris Hunt, one of America’s most prestigious architects, was chosen to design the 89-ft (27-m) pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The pedestal sits on a concrete foundation within the 11-pointed, star-shaped walls of Fort Wood, a fortress erected for the War of 1812.

  6. Crown

    Legend says that Bartholdi’s mother was the model for Liberty, but the face was actually based on his early drawings for a never-commissioned statue in Egypt. The seven rays of her crown represent the seven seas and seven continents.

  7. Torch and Book

    The new torch, with its 24-carat gold leaf-coated flame, was added during a 1984–86 restoration. The original is on display in the main lobby. The book in the statue’s left hand is inscribed July 4, 1776, in Roman numerals.

    Restoration celebrations, July 3, 1986

  8. Frame

    Gustave Eiffel, best known for his Paris tower, created the inner framework. The copper sheeting shell, weighing 31 tons, is hung on bars from a massive central iron pylon that anchors the statue to the base.

  9. Views

    The observation decks in the pedestal and crown of the Liberty Statue, offer spectacular views of Manhattan. The crown reopen-ed to limited numbers of visitors in 2009 following its closure due to the events of September 11.

  10. Historical Exhibits

    The museum inside the base documents the complete history of the Statue of Liberty using photos, prints, videos, oral histories, and fullscale replicas of the face and foot. A pass is required to visit the base and observation platform.

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