Statue of Liberty Museum opens to the public
The Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island opened to the public following a dedication ceremony presented by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc and the National Park Service. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Chairman of the Board Albert Bellas and President and CEO Stephen Briganti, as well as campaign Chairperson Diane von Furstenberg delivered remarks at the ceremony, which also included performances from Broadway stars and the Manhattan Girls Chorus.
“America needs this museum and what it represents now more than ever. Immigration defines us, and New York is the ultimate city of immigrants. The Statue of Liberty represents our core values – we embrace diversity, support our neighbours and believe everyone should have a fair shot to live the American dream,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“Today, we share in the American people’s gratitude for this remarkable contribution to the legacy of the Statue of Liberty, and for ensuring her story will continue to be told to this and future generations,” said Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island John Piltzecker.
The 26,000 square foot museum features three gallery spaces, each one meant to inspire visitors and educate them about the Statue of Liberty in interactive and thought-provoking ways. The experience culminates with an up-close view of Liberty’s most iconic symbol, her original torch, held high for nearly 100 years. Rescued from the elements and replaced in 1986, the torch is the most powerful artefact, visitors encounter as they reach the end of the museum experience. The museum merges landscape and building, and the roof is planted with native meadow grasses and offers visitors sweeping, panoramic views of Lady Liberty, lower Manhattan, and all of New York Harbor. Access to the museum is free with the purchase of a Statue Cruises ferry ticket to Liberty and Ellis Islands.
“While the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognisable icons in the world, few people ever get to climb to its crown or get to see Lady Liberty’s face up close,” said Edwin Schlossberg, Founder and Principal Designer of ESI Design. “Our goal for the design of the museum experience is to immerse visitors in not just the grandeur and sweeping history of the Statue, but also in the very idea of liberty itself so that they leave with a deeper understanding of what it means to them and the active role required upholding it.”