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Just how many is not known. The Statue's height and the conductive material she's made of, copper, makes it a structure of choice for lightning strikes. What does the torch represent? The torch is a symbol of enlightenment. The Statue of Liberty's torch lights the way to freedom showing us the path to Liberty. Even the Statue's official name represents her most important symbol "Liberty Enlightening the World". The Statue's current replacement torch, added in , is a copper flame covered in 24K gold.
It is reflective of the sun's rays in daytime and lighted by 16 floodlights at night. The original torch was removed in and is currently inside the lobby of the monument. What is written on the Statue's tablet? What do the seven spikes on the Statue's crown represent? The rays represent a radiant halo, also called an "aureole. Can I dock my personal boat or vessel on the island? Docking of private vessels is not permitted!
Visitors can only arrive at the island via the contracted ferry concession service presently in place. Are Pets Allowed In the Park? No, pets are not permitted on the ferry system or in the park itself. If I take the ferry from one side, must I return to that side? The side you start from is where you should return to. If not, you may be forced to find alternate ways back due to crowding or ticket office closures. Any large project was further delayed by the Franco-Prussian War , in which Bartholdi served as a major of militia. In the war, Napoleon III was captured and deposed. Bartholdi's home province of Alsace was lost to the Prussians , and a more liberal republic was installed in France.
Arriving at New York Harbor , Bartholdi focused on Bedloe's Island now named Liberty Island as a site for the statue, struck by the fact that vessels arriving in New York had to sail past it. He was delighted to learn that the island was owned by the United States government—it had been ceded by the New York State Legislature in for harbor defense. It was thus, as he put it in a letter to Laboulaye: "land common to all the states. Grant , who assured him that it would not be difficult to obtain the site for the statue.
Bartholdi had made a first model of his concept in Bartholdi continued to develop the concept following his return to France. One of these was the Lion of Belfort , a monumental sculpture carved in sandstone below the fortress of Belfort , which during the war had resisted a Prussian siege for over three months. Bartholdi and Laboulaye considered how best to express the idea of American liberty.
Columbia had supplanted the traditional European personification of the Americas as an "Indian princess" , which had come to be regarded as uncivilized and derogatory toward Americans. A Liberty figure adorned most American coins of the time,  and representations of Liberty appeared in popular and civic art, including Thomas Crawford 's Statue of Freedom atop the dome of the United States Capitol Building. Artists of the 18th and 19th centuries striving to evoke republican ideals commonly used representations of Libertas as an allegorical symbol.
In this painting, which commemorates France's July Revolution , a half-clothed Liberty leads an armed mob over the bodies of the fallen. Crawford's statue was designed in the early s. It was originally to be crowned with a pileus , the cap given to emancipated slaves in ancient Rome.
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Secretary of War Jefferson Davis , a Southerner who would later serve as President of the Confederate States of America , was concerned that the pileus would be taken as an abolitionist symbol. He ordered that it be changed to a helmet. Instead, he used a diadem , or crown, to top its head. Bartholdi's early models were all similar in concept: a female figure in neoclassical style representing liberty, wearing a stola and pella gown and cloak, common in depictions of Roman goddesses and holding a torch aloft. According to popular accounts, the face was modeled after that of Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi, the sculptor's mother,  but Regis Huber, the curator of the Bartholdi Museum is on record as saying that this, as well as other similar speculations, have no basis in fact.
He gave it bold classical contours and applied simplified modeling, reflecting the huge scale of the project and its solemn purpose. The surfaces should be broad and simple, defined by a bold and clear design, accentuated in the important places. The enlargement of the details or their multiplicity is to be feared. By exaggerating the forms, in order to render them more clearly visible, or by enriching them with details, we would destroy the proportion of the work. Finally, the model, like the design, should have a summarized character, such as one would give to a rapid sketch.
Only it is necessary that this character should be the product of volition and study, and that the artist, concentrating his knowledge, should find the form and the line in its greatest simplicity. Bartholdi made alterations in the design as the project evolved. Bartholdi considered having Liberty hold a broken chain, but decided this would be too divisive in the days after the Civil War.
The erected statue does stride over a broken chain, half-hidden by her robes and difficult to see from the ground. By , France was enjoying improved political stability and a recovering postwar economy. Growing interest in the upcoming Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia led Laboulaye to decide it was time to seek public support. With the announcement, the statue was given a name, Liberty Enlightening the World. Initially focused on the elites, the Union was successful in raising funds from across French society.
Laboulaye's political allies supported the call, as did descendants of the French contingent in the American Revolutionary War. Less idealistically, contributions came from those who hoped for American support in the French attempt to build the Panama Canal. The copper may have come from multiple sources and some of it is said to have come from a mine in Visnes , Norway,  though this has not been conclusively determined after testing samples. Although plans for the statue had not been finalized, Bartholdi moved forward with fabrication of the right arm, bearing the torch, and the head.
The exhibition grounds contained a number of monumental artworks to compete for fairgoers' interest, including an outsized fountain designed by Bartholdi. During his second trip to the United States, Bartholdi addressed a number of groups about the project, and urged the formation of American committees of the Franco-American Union. President Rutherford B. Hayes , who took office the following day, selected the Bedloe's Island site that Bartholdi had proposed.
On his return to Paris in , Bartholdi concentrated on completing the head, which was exhibited at the Paris World's Fair. Fundraising continued, with models of the statue put on sale. The head and arm had been built with assistance from Viollet-le-Duc, who fell ill in He soon died, leaving no indication of how he intended to transition from the copper skin to his proposed masonry pier. Eiffel opted not to use a completely rigid structure, which would force stresses to accumulate in the skin and lead eventually to cracking.
A secondary skeleton was attached to the center pylon, then, to enable the statue to move slightly in the winds of New York Harbor and as the metal expanded on hot summer days, he loosely connected the support structure to the skin using flat iron bars  which culminated in a mesh of metal straps, known as "saddles", that were riveted to the skin, providing firm support.
In a labor-intensive process, each saddle had to be crafted individually. Eiffel's design made the statue one of the earliest examples of curtain wall construction, in which the exterior of the structure is not load bearing , but is instead supported by an interior framework. He included two interior spiral staircases , to make it easier for visitors to reach the observation point in the crown.
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The change in structural material from masonry to iron allowed Bartholdi to change his plans for the statue's assembly. He had originally expected to assemble the skin on-site as the masonry pier was built; instead he decided to build the statue in France and have it disassembled and transported to the United States for reassembly in place on Bedloe's Island.
In a symbolic act, the first rivet placed into the skin, fixing a copper plate onto the statue's big toe, was driven by United States Ambassador to France Levi P. He was succeeded as chairman of the French committee by Ferdinand de Lesseps , builder of the Suez Canal. The completed statue was formally presented to Ambassador Morton at a ceremony in Paris on July 4, , and de Lesseps announced that the French government had agreed to pay for its transport to New York. The committees in the United States faced great difficulties in obtaining funds for the construction of the pedestal.
The Panic of had led to an economic depression that persisted through much of the decade. The Liberty statue project was not the only such undertaking that had difficulty raising money: construction of the obelisk later known as the Washington Monument sometimes stalled for years; it would ultimately take over three-and-a-half decades to complete. In the years following the Civil War, most Americans preferred realistic artworks depicting heroes and events from the nation's history, rather than allegorical works like the Liberty statue. Bartholdi and our French cousins had 'gone the whole figure' while they were about it, and given us statue and pedestal at once.
The foundation of Bartholdi's statue was to be laid inside Fort Wood , a disused army base on Bedloe's Island constructed between and Since , it had rarely been used, though during the Civil War, it had served as a recruiting station. The statue's foundation and pedestal were aligned so that it would face southeast, greeting ships entering the harbor from the Atlantic Ocean. Within months, Hunt submitted a detailed plan, indicating that he expected construction to take about nine months. Hunt's pedestal design contains elements of classical architecture, including Doric portals, as well as some elements influenced by Aztec architecture.
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The four sides are identical in appearance. Above the door on each side, there are ten disks upon which Bartholdi proposed to place the coats of arms of the states between and , there were 38 U. Above that, a balcony was placed on each side, framed by pillars. Bartholdi placed an observation platform near the top of the pedestal, above which the statue itself rises. Financial concerns again forced him to revise his plans; the final design called for poured concrete walls, up to 20 feet 6. His work involved design computations, detailed fabrication and construction drawings, and oversight of construction.
Fundraising for the statue had begun in The committee organized a large number of money-raising events. She initially declined, stating she could not write a poem about a statue. At the time, she was also involved in aiding refugees to New York who had fled anti-Semitic pogroms in eastern Europe. These refugees were forced to live in conditions that the wealthy Lazarus had never experienced. She saw a way to express her empathy for these refugees in terms of the statue.
Even with these efforts, fundraising lagged. With the project in jeopardy, groups from other American cities, including Boston and Philadelphia, offered to pay the full cost of erecting the statue in return for relocating it. New Yorkers displayed their new-found enthusiasm for the statue. Two hundred thousand people lined the docks and hundreds of boats put to sea to welcome the ship. Even with the success of the fund drive, the pedestal was not completed until April Immediately thereafter, reassembly of the statue began.
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Eiffel's iron framework was anchored to steel I-beams within the concrete pedestal and assembled. Nevertheless, no one died during the construction. Instead, Bartholdi cut portholes in the torch—which was covered with gold leaf —and placed the lights inside them. A ceremony of dedication was held on the afternoon of October 28, President Grover Cleveland, the former New York governor, presided over the event.
President Cleveland headed the procession, then stood in the reviewing stand to see bands and marchers from across America. General Stone was the grand marshal of the parade. The route began at Madison Square , once the venue for the arm, and proceeded to the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan by way of Fifth Avenue and Broadway , with a slight detour so the parade could pass in front of the World building on Park Row.
As the parade passed the New York Stock Exchange, traders threw ticker tape from the windows, beginning the New York tradition of the ticker-tape parade. A French flag draped across the statue's face was to be lowered to unveil the statue at the close of Evarts's speech, but Bartholdi mistook a pause as the conclusion and let the flag fall prematurely. The ensuing cheers put an end to Evarts's address. Orator Chauncey M. Depew concluded the speechmaking with a lengthy address. No members of the general public were permitted on the island during the ceremonies, which were reserved entirely for dignitaries.
The only females granted access were Bartholdi's wife and de Lesseps's granddaughter; officials stated that they feared women might be injured in the crush of people. The restriction offended area suffragists , who chartered a boat and got as close as they could to the island. The group's leaders made speeches applauding the embodiment of Liberty as a woman and advocating women's right to vote. Shortly after the dedication, The Cleveland Gazette , an African American newspaper, suggested that the statue's torch not be lit until the United States became a free nation "in reality":.
The expression makes us sick. This government is a howling farce. It can not or rather does not protect its citizens within its own borders. Shove the Bartholdi statue, torch and all, into the ocean until the "liberty" of this country is such as to make it possible for an inoffensive and industrious colored man to earn a respectable living for himself and family, without being ku-kluxed , perhaps murdered, his daughter and wife outraged, and his property destroyed. The idea of the "liberty" of this country "enlightening the world," or even Patagonia , is ridiculous in the extreme.
When the torch was illuminated on the evening of the statue's dedication, it produced only a faint gleam, barely visible from Manhattan. The World characterized it as "more like a glowworm than a beacon. The United States Lighthouse Board took over the Statue of Liberty in and pledged to install equipment to enhance the torch's effect; in spite of its efforts, the statue remained virtually invisible at night. When Bartholdi returned to the United States in , he made additional suggestions, all of which proved ineffective.
He did successfully lobby for improved lighting within the statue, allowing visitors to better appreciate Eiffel's design. The statue rapidly became a landmark. Many immigrants who entered through New York saw it as a welcoming sight. Oral histories of immigrants record their feelings of exhilaration on first viewing the Statue of Liberty.
One immigrant who arrived from Greece recalled:. I saw the Statue of Liberty. And I said to myself, "Lady, you're such a beautiful!
The Statue of Liberty: The Meaning and Use of a National Symbol
Give me a chance to prove that I am worth it, to do something, to be someone in America. Originally, the statue was a dull copper color, but shortly after a green patina , also called verdigris , caused by the oxidation of the copper skin, began to spread. As early as it was mentioned in the press; by it had entirely covered the statue. The Corps of Engineers also installed an elevator to take visitors from the base to the top of the pedestal. Carloads of dynamite and other explosives that were being sent to Britain and France for their war efforts were detonated, and seven people were killed.
The statue sustained minor damage, mostly to the torch-bearing right arm, and was closed for ten days. The narrow ascent to the torch was closed for public-safety reasons, and it has remained closed ever since. He claimed over 80, contributors, but failed to reach the goal. The difference was quietly made up by a gift from a wealthy donor—a fact that was not revealed until An underwater power cable brought electricity from the mainland and floodlights were placed along the walls of Fort Wood.
Gutzon Borglum , who later sculpted Mount Rushmore , redesigned the torch, replacing much of the original copper with stained glass. On December 2, , President Woodrow Wilson pressed the telegraph key that turned on the lights, successfully illuminating the statue. Mount Rushmore, Second Edition. The Alamo, Second Edition.
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