Statue of Liberty Facts

The Statue of Liberty, also called Lady Liberty, stands tall on Liberty Island, located in New York City's harbor. Millions of emigrants have looked up to her as she welcomed them to their new home. This global symbol represents freedom and the hope of a better life. There are many fascinating Statue of Liberty facts.

Three architects

The Statue of Liberty was designed by three architects: Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Richard Morris Hunt and Gustave Eiffel who would later design the Eiffel Tower. Construction started in 1875, and she was officially unveiled on Oct. 28, 1886 as a gift from France to the United States.

Statue dimensions

From the ground up the statue might not appear tall compared to other New York City buildings, but the lady is enormous.

  • From the base of the pedestal foundation to the torch tip, the statue is 305 feet 6 inches tall.
  • The statue itself, from her feet to the top of her head, measures 111 feet 6 inches.
  • Lady Liberty's face alone measure a little over 8 feet long.
  • Her weight is 450,000 pounds.
  • She wears size 879 sandals on feet that are 25 feet long.
  • The tablet she's holding in her left hand is 23 feet 7 inches high by 13 feet 7 inches wide and is inscribed with "July IV MDCCLXXVI ," July 4, 1776.
  • The seven rays on the statue's crown represent the seven continents. Each ray measures 9 feet and weighs 150 pounds.
  • The copper outer layer of the statue was originally 1/2 inch thick, but was hammered down to 3/32 inch.
  • The light green color is as a result of nature's elements working on her copper exterior.

Other Statue of Liberty facts

Not so well known Statue of Liberty facts are:

  • Broken shackles symbolizing tyranny and oppression lie at the statue's feet. These shackles cannot be seen from the ground up.
  • If you want to get inside the statue's head, be prepared to climb 154 steps.
  • Access to the lady's torch was closed in 1916.
  • After being fully assembled in Paris, the statue was disassembled, and the pieces were loaded into crates and reassembled on Liberty Island.
  • In 1886, the statue was the tallest iron structure ever built. The inner framework was designed by Gustave Eiffel.
  • Between 1886 and 1902, the statue served as a lighthouse in the harbor and could be seen from 24 miles away.
  • In 1906, after the statue's copper glow had changed into a blue-green patina, the U.S. Congress budgeted $62,000 to paint the statue. A public outcry to keep the statue in its weathered look forced the politicians to change their minds.
  • The patina protects the statue from future oxidation and deterioration.
  • The statue underwent restoration in 1986, during which the torch was covered with thin sheets of 24 karat gold.

The Statue of Liberty inspired Emma Lazarus' famous poem called "The New Colossus." Lazarus wrote the sonnet to raise money for the building base. Her poem, which continues to resonate with people around the world, is engraved on a plaque inside the statue. The most famous part of the poem is the final section:

...'Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'

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