The Pantheon in Rome didn't make the Top 77 -- but the "EYE" ferris wheel in London did
I've only been to 4 of the 21 finalists
The Pantheon in Rome didn't make the Top 77 -- but the "EYE" ferris wheel in London did
^HA! Hilarious! (or sad really)
I would've thought Greece and Rome would dominate such a list but apparantly not.
I find it somewhat surprising that not a single skyscraper made it.
And Stonehenge? Give me a break, the UK has a dozen places worthier of this list.
June 27, 2007
House wants Statue of Liberty crown open
By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
A close up of the Statue of Liberty is seen in this undated photo.
WASHINGTON - The House is prodding parks officials to reopen the crown of the Statue of Liberty to the public — a step the government says is too dangerous.
Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., for the second year in a row added an amendment to a spending bill giving the National Park Service $1 million to study how to safely reopen the staircase to the statue's crown — something prohibited since the 2001 terror attacks.
"I'm not going to stop pushing on it and I think it's reasonable to expect that sooner or later they're going to have to answer," he said.
Tuesday's amendment, passed Tuesday by voice vote, does not force the park service to reopen the statue, and the agency has claimed the tightly packed, 168-step spiral metal staircase is a fire hazard and a terror risk.
Tourists are now allowed only as far as the pedestal, at Lady Liberty's toes.
The Weiner amendment redirects $1 million in funding from the Interior Department to the park service, which could use the money for safety improvements at the statue or for other purposes.
Last year after passage of a similar bill, the park service said safety did not permit the crown to be reopened. Weiner said that since then he has not been told what, if anything, was done with the money he set aside.
The lawmaker said the park service should listen to the advice of Congress and "restore the Statue of Liberty to her full glory."
National Park Service officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The statue, which sits on 12-acre Liberty Island in New York Harbor, was shut down after Sept. 11, 2001. After spending $20 million on security and safety improvements, the government reopened the statue in 2004.
New security measures included a bomb detection device that blows air into clothing and then checks for particles of explosives residue. Bomb-sniffing dogs also have been seen at the site.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 and was designated a national monument in 1924. It was restored for its centennial on July 4, 1986. Its torch has been closed since 1916.
Copyright © 2007 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
i dont see why it isnt open, you are screened twice with airport style gates and a weird machine that blows air at you to see if anything is stuck to your body. and you must take everything out of your pockets.
I think the main danger at the statue is an attack on the circle line boats from outwith or someone parking their boat at the side of the statue at high tide and jumping over the fence so imo you should be allowed in the crown.
AM New York
July 6, 2007
Lady Liberty misses ' 7 Wonders' cut
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome and Peru's Machu Picchu are leading contenders to be among the new seven wonders of the world, but the Statue of Liberty is languishing in the bottom 10.
Lady Liberty is in good company, though: Stonehenge and the Kremlin are struggling, too.
The final round of an international poll draws to a close at 8 tonight, and 90 million people from every country in the world have voted by Internet or phone, according to representatives for the "New 7 Wonders of the World" campaign. Votes are still coming in, although the field has been narrowed to 20 candidates. The winners will be announced tomorrow in Lisbon.
"There are not many things that could bring the world together like global culture ... this is really something that every single person in the world can be interested in," said Tia Viering, spokeswoman for the group. The Web site is www.new7wonders.com.
Others among the top 10: the Acropolis in Greece, Chichen Itza pyramid in Mexico, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Easter Island, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Taj Mahal in India and Jordan's ancient city of Petra.
The Great Pyramids of Giza are the only surviving structures from the traditional list of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was derived from lists of marvels compiled by ancient Greek observers, the best-known being Antipater of Sidon, a writer in the 2nd century B.C. The pyramids' status was assured after Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace they had to compete for a spot, so there will be eight wonders of the world when the new list is complete.
Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber began the campaign in 1999, with almost 200 nominations from around the world. The list was narrowed to 21 by the start of last year, then Giza was taken out of the running when it was given an automatic spot.
The six original sites that no longer exist, concentrated in the Mediterranean and Middle East, are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos lighthouse off Alexandria.
Weber's Switzerland-based foundation says it aims to promote cultural diversity by supporting, preserving and restoring monuments.
Copyright 2007 AM New York
7 wonders, really?
Really stupid. This contest and the new seven wonders will be forgotten in a week. Even the old seven wonders were not really representative, just a local affair of the Near East, as they left China and India and lots of other places that surely had spectacular sites.
Lady Liberty to break free of lines; reopening uncertain
By Jennifer Milne and Joe Orovic
Fanning herself in the late morning sun, Ana Brouman checked her watch. “The wait isn’t that bad, but it’s the heat,” she said, counting how many people were in front of her in line. Brouman was on her second visit to the city in 34 years, leaving behind San Diego sun for a bit of New York heat. “Last time I came here, I waited a good 20 minutes to see the Statue of Liberty. Today doesn’t seem so bad.”
About 20 people waited in line — not a small number considering it was a Monday morning. And while eagerly waiting to visit the big green lady on Liberty Island, some felt a bit cheated. A disheveled Brooklyn native who called himself “Chuck” asked the crowd, “What’s the point? You can’t go to the top!” A middle-aged couple confirmed this with others before leaving for an early lunch at the Carnegie Deli.
But things may be looking up for Lady Liberty’s visitors. The era of waiting in line should soon be over and, if U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner of Brooklyn has his way, her crown will be reopened as well.
After 9/11, the statue was completely closed for security reasons. In August 2004, the pedestal of the monument reopened, with the statue closed. Today, visitors can access the pedestal observation deck, promenade and museum, but cannot go in the copper structure itself.
Rep. Weiner is hoping to get the statue back to pre-Sept. 11 status. He introduced a bill called “Save the Statue of Liberty Act” in the House, proposing the National Park Service make the safety upgrades necessary to re-open the crown and its observation deck. Weiner’s bill unanimously passed the House on June 26.
“One of the things that he proposed would be to allow access to the crown to small groups,” said Eric Koch, Weiner’s aide. Koch said his boss has proposed limiting the amount of people that can go up. “We’re trying to do it the same way you do the Washington Monument.”
In a press release dated July 4, Weiner announced Congressional hearings to determine why the statue is still closed after all these years, and what can be done to make it available to visitors.
Darren Boch, a National Park Service spokesperson, said the agency has worked with a number of architectural engineering firms, all of which have confirmed that the area inside the statue, between observation deck and crown, does not meet the minimum health and safety standards, or the building codes of New York City.
“At the end of the day, there’s just not enough room in that portion of the statue from the deck to the crown,” Boch said. “We’ve had studies tell us it would be extremely difficult and expensive to open the crown without altering the structure itself.”
As for Rep. Weiner’s proposed small-groups plan, Boch said the N.P.S. would need to look into it further.
“We’d have to do an assessment to see if that would be allowed under current laws,” Boch said. “If he wants to allocate funds for an assessment, we’d be happy to look at it.”
But none of this politicking matters much to the folks who have to wait in line on a steamy summer day.
“Dammit,” said a frustrated Brouman, still in line, waiting longer than she had expected. “How long will this take?”
For Brouman and countless others waiting to see Lady Liberty, the long lines to pick up tickets may be a thing of the past.
Circle Line, which ran the Liberty Island ferry service, lost the route to Statue Cruises, a division of Hornblower Cruises and Events, which signed a 10-year contract July 26. Hornblower is a California-based company that offers boat tours in San Francisco, Berkeley, Marina del Rey, San Diego and Newport Beach, including the cruise to Alcatraz Island.
Statue Cruises has some big plans in store for its route, and online ticketing may be the biggest improvement. While Circle Line did allow reservations to be made online, Statue Cruises plans to update the program so that waits are no more than an hour.
“Having an online reservations system is one key element for reducing lines,” said Tegan Firth, a spokesperson for Hornblower Cruises. “One of the features [gives] … people the option to print their tickets at home and just arrive. They can bypass the initial ticket pickup line entirely and go straight to the security line.”
Hornblower C.E.O. Terry MacRae told the Associated Press on July 26 that the company would be taking over the route from the Circle Line on Oct. 2. But Firth said last week that the firm is still negotiating with Circle Line and does not have an exact turnover date.
The uncertain date for the switch has left some tourists confused. In an online travel forum, Trip Advisor, RosDurhamUK wrote: “I am trying to book online for the ferry for October 11th. I have tried to use the link at the side of the forum about New York Attractions. I have tried various other links and I keep getting the Circle Line site and when I put in my date – its coming up with invalid tour date. What am I doing wrong?”
For travelers that have already booked trips to New York City, Firth recommends checking the company’s Web site, www.statuecruises.com, frequently.
“The only advice I can really offer is to keep checking both Web sites [Statue Cruises and Circle Line],” Firth said. “At some point, hopefully soon, the official start date will be resolved. Either we will or Circle Line will release tickets for after Oct. 1.”
As part of the new, improved cruises to the island, Statue Cruises also plans to have presentations about immigrant history and podcasts for all visitors, which may leave the statue’s visitors wondering what happened to just waiting in line.
“Well, that’s nice,” said Alice Cummings, 74, after hearing about the new tech-friendly ride. “That means she can do all the work from now on,” she said, pointing to her granddaughter Stefanie, who was visiting the statue for the first time.
The security line tents in Battery Park have long been criticized as an eyesore and there have been periodic discussions about moving it to Pier A. The city recently got control back of the pier which may mean a reopening of the talks.
Warrie Price, president of the Battery Conservancy, won’t miss the long lines that typically snake around the park. She hopes that Statue Cruises’ new online reservations and print-at-home feature will help.
“We are hopeful that the visitors will be better served with online reservation ticketing,” Price said in an e-mail. “In the past most of the lines in the park were due to the security system after you have a ticket. But having a timed ticket should help this situation. We [the Battery Conservancy] will continue to give the visitors beautiful gardens to see, and walk through, on their way to the Statue.”
But for Rep. Weiner, a new and improved waiting line doesn’t matter if Lady Liberty remains shuttered.
“What’s the point of this new line if it’ll go to the same closed Statue?” asked a spokesperson for Weiner.
For Safety, Lady Liberty’s Crown Will Stay Closed, Park Service Says.
The New York Times
By SEWELL CHAN
Published: September 19, 2007
The National Park Service said yesterday that it had no intention of reopening the Statue of Liberty’s crown, which has been closed since the 9/11 attack. Federal officials said that public access to the top of the statue would pose a potentially catastrophic fire hazard.Our primary concerns about public access to the Statue of Liberty’s crown are safety and health concerns, not terrorism,” Daniel N. Wenk, the deputy director of the park service, said at a Congressional hearing on the subject, the first in the six years the crown has been closed. Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a Democrat who represents parts of Queens and Brooklyn, helped persuade the House of Representatives to pass a nonbinding and largely symbolic resolution in June directing $1 million toward the reopening of the crown. He also helped arrange for the hearing yesterday, which was led by Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, part of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Liberty Island was closed to the public after the 9/11 attacks. The statue’s base reopened to the public on Aug. 3, 2004, after a $20 million effort to improve fire safety, security and evacuation routes. The park service faced criticism for delays in reopening the base and for relying heavily on a private group, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, to raise money for the project.Mr. Wenk said the statue’s creator, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, “never intended or designed the Statue of Liberty as something to enter or climb.” Only after it opened in 1886 did the War Department — the predecessor to the Defense Department — begin letting “curiosity seekers” inside the sculpture, Mr. Wenk said. The statue’s torch was closed in 1916.When the park service began administering the statue in 1933, Mr. Wenk said, there were less than 200,000 visitors. Last year, more than 2.5 million people visited Liberty Island.
The crown of the statue is accessible only by a very narrow, double-helix spiral staircase with a low guardrail. The staircase was intended for periodic use by maintenance workers, Mr. Wenk said, “not for heavy, daily use” by the public. The staircase does not meet any local, state or federal fire and building codes. Even for people in peak physical condition, climbing the 12-story-high staircase is a challenge, he said, adding: “A key danger is that once a visitor begins the climb, turning back before reaching the crown is nearly impossible. Each person is blocked by hundreds of people in front and behind.” Mr. Wenk even invoked several catastrophic fires in the past — at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York in 1911, the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston in 1942, and the Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., in 2003 — to argue that the federal government must put public safety first.
Short of building a 22-story tower with a new staircase next to the statue “and cutting through the Statue of Liberty’s copper skin to build a bridge” to the tower, there is no way to provide a safe exit from the statue’s interior consistent with fire and building codes, Mr. Wenk said. He called such a tower an “unacceptable option.”Advocacy groups that have called for reopening the crown did not appear to be persuaded by Mr. Wenk’s arguments. Alexander Brash, the Northeast regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association, said in a statement that “Americans should have the right to visit every nook and cranny of our National Park System.” He said the disagreement underscored the need for more parks funding. Mr. Weiner, who climbed the 162 steps to the crown during a private tour last week, said in a statement that the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation had raised more than $500 million from donors, many of whom expected that their money would go toward reopening the crown. The annual number of visitors to the statue has declined by 44 percent since 2000, he said, adding that he believed the fire safety and security concerns could be addressed. “To keep Lady Liberty closed defies the will of the American people,” he said at the hearing, adding, “It really does bow to the desires of the terrorists.” Mr. Wenk said the park service was focused on improving the educational value of visits to the statue. About 22 percent of visitors to the statue now participate in parks programs that discuss the statue’s history, compared with less than 3 percent before 2001, he said. Mr. Wenk did not rule out the possibility that the statue could be declared exempt from fire and building codes and that the crown could be reopened to small groups of visitors on a limited basis, a possibility that several lawmakers have raised.
New Ticket to Lady Liberty
By ANTHONY RAMIREZ
Published: November 8, 2007
The company that will replace the Circle Line, which has provided ferry service to the Statue of Liberty for more than half a century, has begun selling tickets online for trips in January.
In June, the National Park Service, which oversees Liberty Island and other national monuments, selected Hornblower Yachts, a California company that provides ferry service to Alcatraz Island, the former federal prison site in San Francisco Bay.
In 2006, 4.2 million visitors took the ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands from Manhattan, a drop of nearly a quarter from the 5.5 million in 2000. The decrease resulted in part from the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which necessitated increased security.
The price of a ticket timed to a specific day rose recently to $12 from $11.50; it will remain at that level in January. But in a telephone interview this week, Terry MacRae, the chief executive of Hornblower, said that beginning in January, visitors will also be able to buy more flexible tickets on the company’s new Web site, www.statuecruises.com.
For example, Mr. MacRae said, visitors to the statue will be able to buy a ticket good for any time over a period of three days.
Circle Line will continue to provide the ferry service until January. Mr. MacRae said the transition to his company was still taking place. The two companies, for example, were still working on the acquisition of Circle Line’s fleet of seven boats, a condition of the federal contract. By January, Hornblower may temporarily charter four boats, with a total seating capacity of 3,200 passengers.
Some changes will be immediate, he said. The food on board will be expanded to juices and wrap sandwiches and similar fare from the menu of hot dogs and pretzels. Podcasts about the statue will also be available, with an expanded audio tour provided later in the year.
When Hornblower acquires all of the Circle Line fleet, it may refurbish most or all of the boats, adding large plasma television screens and other audio-visual equipment, as on Hornblower’s Alcatraz tours.
Critics, including Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, had objected to what they called Circle Line’s inadequate service and said Hornblower represented “a fresh start.”
Yes the SF boats look really nice, but it looks like the Circle Line boats will be purchased by the new carrier.
Since I deal with codes professionally, nonconformity hits me in the face when I see it. I'd estimate that between 80 and 95 percent of Manhattan's buildings don't meet today's code (actually, last year's new sprinkler requirement alone probably bumps the figure even higher).
What's the big deal? The vast majority of new buildings will never be as safe as we can imagine them. Reopen the Statue, post a notice at the entrance stating that the building doesn't meet safety codes, and let people decide for themselves whether to go up. Climbing Mt. Everest isn't safe either, and they issued a climbing permit to a blind man.
Parks Department is a bunch of nattering nannies.