Above Image: The Statue of Liberty – by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
The Statue of Liberty – by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
Trip to Statue of Liberty: June 29, 2011
One of the biggest highlights of the trip to New York City, was seeing the Statue of Liberty. On a beautiful sunny summer day on June 29, 2011, we took the statue cruise from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan to the Liberty island, where the statue is located.
“The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States. It is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was designated as a National Monument in 1924. The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War, and since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service.
In 1984, UNESCO inscribed the Statue of Liberty in the World Heritage List. The UNESCO “Statement of Significance” describes the statue as a “masterpiece of the human spirit” that “endures as a highly potent symbol—inspiring contemplation, debate and protest—of ideals such as liberty, peace, human rights, abolition of slavery, democracy and opportunity.”
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Vacation 2011: Trip to New York City.. click here..
Vacation 2011: Trip to New York City, Washington DC, New Jersey and Philadelphia.. click here..
The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman Goddess of freedom, who bears a torch in one hand, and a tablet in the other, upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI’ [ July 4, 1776]. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.
Building The Statue of Liberty
The French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi designed the Statue of Liberty as a giant three dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Over 300 thin sheets of copper, most of it from the copper mine in Karmoy, Norway, fit together to form the statue’s outer skin. Each copper sheet is about 3/32 of an inch thick, about the thickness of two coins. The sheets were shaped in France using the ancient “repousse” method in which the metal is hammered and shaped within large wooded or plaster molds. The finished pieces were then shipped to the United States, where they were assembled and supported on an ingenious iron framework of armature bars and girders designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
The outer skin of the statue is copper sheet, and the inner framework is of iron. The ingenious load-bearing iron framework on which the copper sheets are mounted, was created by none other than Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. The same Eiffel who is credited with the construction of the Eiffel Tower, which he undertook shortly after the completion of his work on the Statue of Liberty. Statue of Liberty dedicated 1886 and the Eiffel Tower erected 1889.
The granite pedestal of the statue was paid for entirely by private funds raised in the United States. It was designed by the eminent American architect Richard Morris Hunt, and engineered by former Civil War General Charles P. Stone. Its variety of strong shapes and rich textures makes the pedestal seem less massive as it tapers gracefully upwards. Roughly the height of a ten story building, the tremendous structure rests on a huge concrete foundation that is anchored in the surrounding Fort Wood. the concrete foundation was once exposed but now is enclosed by a museum.
The Statue of Liberty’s pedestal sits atop the remains of Fort Wood, originally one link in a chain of defenses protecting New York City and its vital harbor. The fort was built between 1808 and 1811 in the shape of an eleven-pointed star and was occupied by the War Department as an army post until 1937. The eleven-pointed star design was brought to North America by French military engineers in the 17th century. The fort acted as a lookout position with harbor guns entrenched near the shore. Many incised markings, believed to be Masonic symbols, have been found on its granite exterior walls and the surrounding lawn.
The three images below are taken by my niece Tanvi Sinha!