The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, also known as Lady Liberty, is a colossal neoclassical sculpture located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. It was gifted by France to the United States in 1886 and has since been recognized as a symbol of freedom and democracy. The statue stands at 151 feet and 1 inch tall from the ground to the tip of the torch and weighs 225 tons.
The history of the Statue of Liberty
The idea of the Statue of Liberty was first proposed by Édouard René de Laboulaye, a French abolitionist and supporter of the Union during the American Civil War. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and constructed in France with the help of engineer Gustave Eiffel. The statue was then disassembled and shipped to the United States in 214 crates. It took four months to reassemble on Liberty Island. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886, by President Grover Cleveland.
The cost of constructing the Statue
The cost of constructing the Statue of Liberty was approximately $250,000, which is equivalent to around $10 million in modern times. However, this was only the cost of constructing the statue itself and did not include the cost of the pedestal, transportation, or assembly. The entire project cost an estimated $500,000, equivalent to around $20 million in modern times.
The fundraising campaign for the statue
The fundraising campaign for the statue was led by the Franco-American Union, a group created to foster relations between France and the United States. The campaign was mainly funded by donations from French citizens, but it also received contributions from American citizens and businesses. The fundraising campaign raised approximately $250,000, equivalent to around $10 million in modern times, which covered half of the total cost of the project.
The materials used in the construction
The statue is made of copper sheets hammered onto an iron framework. The copper sheets were provided by the French government, and the iron framework was constructed by Gustave Eiffel’s company. The interior of the statue features a spiral staircase that leads to the crown. The torch was originally designed to have an electric light, but it was later replaced with a golden flame.
The cost of transporting the statue
The cost of transporting the statue from France to the United States was approximately $100,000, equivalent to around $4 million in modern times. The statue was disassembled and packed into 214 crates that were shipped on the French steamer Isère. The statue arrived in New York City in June 1885.
The cost of assembling the statue
The cost of assembling the statue on Liberty Island was approximately $100,000, equivalent to around $4 million in modern times. The statue was reassembled by a team of workers led by Richard Morris Hunt. The assembly process took four months to complete.
The cost of the pedestal
The cost of the pedestal was approximately $270,000, equivalent to around $11 million in modern times. The pedestal was funded by donations from American citizens and businesses. The construction of the pedestal was overseen by architect Richard Morris Hunt.
The cost of maintaining the statue
The cost of maintaining the statue varies from year to year. In recent years, the National Park Service has spent approximately $4.5 million annually on maintenance and restoration projects. These projects include replacing the torch’s flame and renovating the interior of the statue.
The economic impact of the statue
The Statue of Liberty has had a significant economic impact on the United States. It attracts millions of tourists each year, which generates billions of dollars in revenue for the local economy. The statue has also become a symbol of American culture and values, which has helped to promote the United States as a desirable destination for both tourists and immigrants.
Conclusion: Was the Statue of Liberty worth its cost?
The Statue of Liberty is a cultural icon and a symbol of freedom and democracy. Although the cost of constructing the statue was significant, it has had a positive economic impact on the United States. The statue has become a landmark attraction that attracts millions of visitors each year. It is a testament to the enduring relationship between France and the United States and a reminder of the importance of freedom and democracy.
References and further reading
- Statue of Liberty National Monument. (2021). About the Statue. Retrieved from
- Statue of Liberty National Monument. (2021). History of the Statue of Liberty. Retrieved from
- Statue of Liberty National Monument. (2021). Fundraising for the Pedestal. Retrieved from
- History.com Editors. (2010). Statue of Liberty. HISTORY. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/landmarks/statue-of-liberty