If you want to step inside the Statue of Liberty this year, better hurry. Officials have announced that the interior of Lady Liberty will close at the end of October for a year-long renovation process costing $27.25 million. Workers from a construction crew in New Jersey will spend the 12 months upgrading electrical systems, improving stairwells, and installing code-compliant bathrooms and elevators. While Lady Liberty will be shutting her doors after the 125th anniversary of her dedication on October 28, tourists shouldn't worry too much -- the statue itself will not be obstructed and Liberty Island will remain open.
In honor of the Lady's pending internal makeover and milestone anniversary (what does one give for 125 years?), let's review seven of our favorite Statue of Liberty facts, shall we?
- Officially called "Liberty Enlightening the World," the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the US on the 100-year anniversary of our nation's independence. Construction began in France in 1875, was completed in 1885, and was dismantled and shipped to the States and arrived in NY Harbor on July 18, 1885. It took months to rebuild and was officially consecrated on October 28, 1886.
- From the foundation of the base to the top of the torch, the statue is 305 feet, 6 inches tall.
- Lady Liberty herself is 111 feet, 6 inches tall with a waist size of 35 feet.
- Inscribed on the base of the foundation is an excerpt from Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus" written in 1883. The famous lines are: 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-lost to me.
- The exterior of the statue is covered in copper that is 0.09 of an inch thick, which is less than the thickness of two pennies. The green color is the natural patina that copper gets over time.
- After 9/11/01, the statue was closed until 2004 after a $20 million security upgrade. The observation deck in the crown was reopened on July 4, 2009.
- About 3.5 million tourists visit the statue every year. In the popular summer months, ferries shuttle over 18,000 people a day to Liberty Island.
Have you been to the Statue of Liberty? Or would you like to visit?
Photo via Francisco Diez/Flickr