Always nice to see the lady!
Always nice to see the lady!
You can see the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne in the last picture - where the broadcasters want to put that tower. There are two long piers extending to the edge of the photograph, it's the one on top.
(Edited by NYatKNIGHT at 5:14 pm on Jan. 20, 2003)
At such a location it could still disfigure the harbor if ugly.
I didn't think it was so close.
The thing would be enormous.
HELP US RE-OPEN LADY LIBERTY!
Perhaps you are not aware, but as a consequence of terrorism and concerns for public safety, the Statue of Liberty was shutdown on the morning of September 11, 2001 and is still closed to the public.
Over the following months, security for her has been significantly heightened, for her safety and the safety of the many people who would visit her, now and in the future.
A number of critical improvements need to be made to the Statue before she can reopen her doors to the public, including:
- Upgrading fire and emergency notification systems
- Creating additional exits from the Statue’s base
- Enhancing visitor safety measures throughout the Statue
The National Park Service has once again turned to The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. – the organization that was responsible for the restoration of Lady Liberty for her centennial in 1986 as well as the historic restoration of Ellis Island -- to raise the funds to get this important work accomplished.
Lady Liberty’s message of hope, freedom and dignity is truly an inspiration to us all, now more than ever.
You can help Re-Open Lady Liberty by making an online contribution today – it’s easy, secure and fully tax-deductible.
Or make a contribution by check. Mail to:
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
Department Open Liberty
292 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017-7769
I'm a bit disgusted that they are turning to the public yet again to raise the necessary funds to renovate Lady Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty is arguably our most recognized and beloved national symbol. And yet over the years the public has been petitioned to raise money for its upkeep, indeed even had to help pay for it in the first place. Why can't the federal government find any money to pay for this? If we can afford to use the revenue generated by our taxes to buy hundreds of smart bombs or fund redundant trips to the moon I think we can easily afford a new public address system and a few new exits for the Statue of Liberty.
Alterations are needed mainly because of increased security concerns. How about giving NY its fair share of the Homeland defense fund (we can take Iowa's share :P ) and using some of that cash to pay for the improvements?
Where has the money generated by the throngs of tourists gone over the years? The tour companies? Maybe they should kick in a bit, because without access to the statue they are out of a job. (I wonder if free rides were offered to those who donated to the cause back in '86?)
Call me crazy but Im certain most people would rather see their tax dollars going to projects like this over much of where its currently going. Personally, when choosing a place to make a charitable contribution, I would prefer to give money to an organization that helps actual people who are needy. I just hope it doesn't divert too many well-intended donations that could be better used elsewhere.
Of all the landmarks in New York City, the Statue of Liberty holds the most meaning for me. It punctuates the city perfectly. I have more and more respect for the monument and what it stands for as time goes by.
The Martin Scorsese documentary airing lately on the History channel is very informative; watch it if you have a chance. In addition to security enhancements, does anyone know what specific repairs (if any) will need to be performed on the statue itself? I think the last major renovation was for its centennial in 1986, and it looks to have weathered further since then.
I plan to make a donation to the fundraising campaign for the reopening effort. Each generation should take the necessary steps to ensure the statue's endurance for the next. We owe it to our history, our ideals, and our children to do so. Hopefully one day soon, we will all be able once again to ascend to her majestic crown.
What an utterly cheap (or spiteful) federal government we have if they can't spare a million dollars to preserve one of the country's greatest national symbols. Of course, Bush is intent on spending 1500 times that amount of money to help "preserve" marriages.
It does seem that way, but in a sense I'm glad that it is the people financing its preservation, since it is an icon for the people. Also, it suggests that we own the statue, not the government.Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
The Statue underwent an extenseive renovation before its centennial. The work being done now is security upgrades to the entire facility.
It's ironic that the NPS is not financing this work. I know several NPS employees at Gateway NRA, and 2 years ago I was talking to a ranger at Riis Park about environmental protection in the park. He said that most of their resources were diverted to places like the Statue of Liberty, and while he understood the security need, it was difficult to maintain the park when the staff was slashed from (as I remember it) 55 to 15.
No no no--nobody's stressing the real patriotic point of all this. The Statue of Liberty has never gotten a single cent from the government to cover any kind of construction costs or refurbishment costs. The French supplied the statue, but the people of America themselves came up with the money--often by donating pennies at a time--to build the base of the statue. That's the whole point--it's a symbol of the people directly and purely, with nothing inbetween!Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
Is the statue in need of renovations beyond security enhancements (due to acid rain and/or other factors), and was its structural integrity at all affected by the WTC collapse?
Lady Liberty's stairwells may never be full again
By Rick Hampson
February 3, 2004
LIBERTY ISLAND, N.Y. — They are the most beloved 354 steps in America, for they lead to a view of the nation's greatest city through the eyes of the nation's greatest symbol. But visitors have not climbed the stairs in more than two years, and they may never climb them again.
The Statue of Liberty has been closed since 9/11, longer than any time since its dedication in 1886. Although officials cite security and safety issues, they won't say exactly what they are, or just why they are dramatically different from those at other national landmarks that have reopened.
About $5 million is being raised privately for work that the National Park Service says probably will allow the monument's pedestal, which contains an immigration museum, to reopen to the public later this year. But there's also this startling possibility: The crown — accessible only by a narrow spiral staircase from the top of the statue's pedestal — might not reopen at all.
Officials say it may be too difficult to evacuate people in an emergency. Anyway, the trip to the crown "is not that vital to experiencing the statue," says Stephen Briganti, president of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, which raises money for the statue. "You get the same views from the top of the pedestal."
But the walk to the crown is an American tradition. "Keep the people out and you will turn the statue into an international symbol of craven fear," declared a New York Daily News editorial. Otherwise, the newspaper says, the statue will have been "ceded to al-Qaeda."
Ken Burns, creator of a documentary film about the statue, says "it's a wonderful, playful, transcendent event when you make that huge climb with everyone else."
Although Liberty Island reopened to the public three months after the 2001 terror attacks, visits to the island are still down by at least 40%. Kim Wright, spokeswoman for the Circle Line ferry, says that's largely because people want to go inside the statue and up to the crown.
Landmark security is a cantankerous issue, for it raises a most fundamental of post-9/11 questions: What is caution, and what is cowardice?
In Washington, D.C., city officials complain about the federal government's refusal to reopen Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. Philadelphia Mayor John Street has ignored federal officials and reopened the street in front of Independence Hall. Meanwhile, a citizens group opposes plans for a security fence around the hall and the Liberty Bell.
The Statue of Liberty is the only major national landmark not to reopen after 9/11. Visitors can ride up the Washington Monument, walk past the Liberty Bell, drive across the Hoover Dam and tour the White House.
At Liberty Island, it's another story. "Don't rush out to the statue," a ferry dockhand advised a group of tourists boarding in Jersey City recently. "It's cold, and there's nothing to do there." Better to linger nearby at Ellis Island, where a museum chronicles the American immigrant experience, he said.
Some visitors arrive thinking that if Liberty Island is open, the statue must be, too. A small white sign at the base of the statue delivers the bad news. "I think you have to go up to the crown to really feel what it's like," says a disappointed Sina Froning, 25, who moved here from Germany two years ago. Unable to enter the statue or stand the winds of New York Harbor, most visitors huddle inside the snack bar and gift shop.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that as long as the statue is closed, "in some sense, the terrorists have won." On these winter days, standing outside the statue's huge bronze doors, it's hard to draw any other conclusion.
'Through the eyes of Liberty'
People were going inside the Statue of Liberty before it was even assembled. The right hand and torch were displayed in Philadelphia in 1876, and the head in Paris two years later.
Visitors eagerly clambered inside. Rudyard Kipling was 12 when he took 36 steps to the crown. A Frenchman told him, "Now you young Englisher, you can say you have looked through the eyes of Liberty herself!"
But the trek to the crown became a ritual almost by accident.
Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor, intended his statue to be seen from the outside. The interior staircase was designed to allow a lighthouse keeper access to the torch.
But the American committee that had raised money for the statue's pedestal and that after its dedication in 1886 hoped to raise more for upkeep wanted to encourage tourists to take the 25-cent ferry ride. People were allowed up to the crown's cramped interior observation platform, which has 25 windows, and to the torch's small, wind-blown balcony.
The climb became a sensation. The statue was the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere until the turn of the century and offered the city's finest views. Visitors also could see the statue's intricate internal skeleton, devised by French engineer Gustave Eiffel to support the 151-foot high, 225-ton goddess.
The rigors of the climb became legend. Listen to vaudeville comedian Cal Stewart's country bumpkin character, "Uncle Josh": "I commenced to climb, and I climbed and climbed and climbed, until I allowed as I must be up around her ear or nose, or up there somewhere. I stepped out a little door what I seen, and I shouted 'FIDDLESTICKS!' I hadn't gotten up any further than her big toe!"
After the torch was closed in 1916, the crown was the place to go — even though the city's new skyscrapers offered higher views.
Barry Moreno, a park ranger, recalls standing outside the front door on summer mornings waiting for the arrival of the first ferry. Suddenly, a mob of tourists would appear, sprinting toward the statue, eager to be the first to the top, winded before their first step up.
The hike to the crown was a sort of secular pilgrimage, a staple of class trips and family vacations. You waited for hours, sweating, making friends, complaining.
Complaining was half the fun, for in summer the statue's staircase was hot, crowded, noisy and monotonous. How clever, writer Madeleine Blais once observed, for a monument associated with immigration to "replicate the atmosphere of steerage."
Was it worth it? No, says Park Ranger Doug Freem. "But it's not so bad the next day. And next year you're bragging about it. And 20 years later you're back with your own kids to do it again."
A target as well as a symbol
But tourists were not the only ones who wanted into the statue. Suffragette demonstrators hired a boat to crash the dedication ceremony in 1886. Ever since, the statue has been a political symbol — the scene of demonstrations and occupations by everyone from Vietnam Veterans Against the War to Hungarian nationalists. People have chained themselves to the crown and unfurled banners from its windows.
For security reasons, in the mid-'90s the Park Service began limiting the number of people who went to the crown. It had become clear that to some people with a cause or a grudge the statue was more than a symbol. It was a target.
When the last ferry left Liberty Island at 5 p.m. Sept. 10, 2001, it looked as if it would be a record year for attendance: more than 4 million. The next morning, before the first ferry left its slip, the World Trade Center was attacked.
The island did not reopen to the public until Dec. 20. Terrorists, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said that day, "cannot — and they will not — shut us down."
That was precisely what they did. Four months later, Mayor Bloomberg asked the Park Service to open the crown "as soon as it possibly can." Then, in May 2002, U.S. intelligence indicated the possibility of an attack on Liberty and other New York landmarks.
Gov. George Pataki went to Liberty Island and vowed, "We will never give in to terror." Park Superintendent Diane Dayson said visitors would be allowed into the statue by summer.
It never happened. Peg Zitko, spokeswoman for the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, says, "Some people are saying, 'What's taking so long?' "
The short answer is security; park rangers speak darkly of images on the Internet of the statue being crushed by a fist. And, in a report issued in September 2003, Interior Department investigators said that "icon" national parks were "woefully unprotected" against terror attacks.
Last November, the foundation announced plans to raise $5 million for safety improvements that would allow the pedestal to reopen. Although the amount is well within reach, no one will say exactly how the money will be spent.
Brian Feeney, the Park Service's New York spokesman, sounds like a mobster hauled before a congressional committee when asked about anything related to statue security. But "three years ago," he says, "I'd tell you anything." It's sad, he says: "I miss what we're losing. Everything is scrutinized. But maybe our kids will get used to it."
Briganti, president of the foundation, says the big issue is evacuation. There's only one way in and out of the pedestal.
The Park Service won't comment on its plans for the statue, but they could include new exits created by building two covered exterior staircases between the top of the pedestal and the ground. Details of the project and a rough timetable for reopening the pedestal are expected to be made public within two months.
The crown is another matter. Although American Express ads soliciting donations for the safety work imply that the entire statue will reopen as a result, officials said two months ago that visitors probably would not be allowed to the top. "We don't want to have people up in there out of our sight and out of our reach," says Freem, the park ranger.
Briganti says there might be a way to allow visitors to see inside the statue from the top of the pedestal without going to the crown. The Park Service says nothing has been decided.
The idea of climbing to the crown excites schoolchildren, but it terrifies security experts.
They describe Liberty pre-9/11 as a peerless terrorist target: a relatively fragile, world-famous symbol in the middle of New York Harbor, filled with hundreds of people on a narrow stairway. Their frightening scenarios: a killer runs amok on the staircase; a suicide pilot strikes before people can be evacuated; a vessel opens fire from the harbor; a chemical or biological weapon is detonated inside the statue, which is like a capped chimney.
But some lovers of the statue are not convinced. "It is worth the risk, as long as they're careful about who gets on the ferry," says Betsy Maestro, author of a children's book on Liberty. "If we can secure airplanes every day, why not that island?"
"The feds may be frightened," the Daily News editorialized last month, "but the public most certainly is not."
Darren Bruna isn't sure what to think. On Independence Weekend 1986, the statue reopened after a two-year restoration. American schoolchildren had raised $6 million, and 50 of them were chosen from a poetry-essay contest to be the first to re-enter the statue.
Bruna, then a seventh-grader from Hollenberg, Kan., had written:
"Quietly, patiently, lovingly
The statue stands
A symbol of our country
It wasn't Yeats, but it was enough to win him a trip to New York and a place in front of the line.
"I think everybody ought to be able to go up there and see the view," says the erstwhile poet, who grew up to be a carpenter. "It is pretty remarkable."
At 32, Bruna still has photos and newspaper clippings from 1986. He understands why the statue is closed and that there are reasons why the crown might never reopen. But he has two boys of his own, and he says that someday he wants to take them into the statue — all the way to the top.
Copyright 2004 USA TODAY
Since I've never been to Saint Louis and am in no position to make assumptions, could anyone who has been there or lives there tell me if the Gateway Arch would be pretty hard to evacuate in a worst-case scenario?