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Statue Of Liberty National Monument

The Statue of LIberty Highlighted by Fourth of July fireworks


The Statue of Liberty reopened  on July 3, 2013 after National Park Service repaired damage to the island and its infrastructure caused by Hurricane Sandy.    Ellis Island sustained  extensive damage from the same storm at the end of October 2012, but is now open for visitors every day of the year, except Christmas Day.

The United States was gifted with the Statue of Liberty by the people of France in recognition of a cultural bond that had formed between the two nations during the War of the American Revolution  in the eighteenth century. 

The monument, officially titled “Statue of Liberty, Liberty Enlightening the World”, was created in France by Edouard de Laboulaye and the interior framework  supporting  its sculpted sheets was designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame.

 As a measure of cooperation, the pedestal  for the Statue of Liberty was built  in New York Harbor on what would become Liberty Island by Americans, while the Lady Liberty was being created in France.

In 1884 the statue was completed and disassembled for shipping to America, where she arrived in 1885. Once the pedestal was completed, Lady Liberty was reconstructed over a four month period on what is now called Liberty Island. Dedicated on October 28,1886, declared a National Monument in 1924, and proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, the Statue of Liberty has become an international symbol of democracy and the personal freedoms sought by people around the world

Tickets are required to visit the Statue of Liberty and reservations should be made as far in advance as possible, as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are popular attractions.   You can make reservations only at the official website of the authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, which can be found here.  The website includes details on accessing  the pedestal, museum and crown of the Statue of Liberty, as well as details on the ferry service to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. (You can also call 1-877 LADY TIX (1-877 523 9849) for information on reservations.)  All visitors, regardless of the type of ticket purchased, can visit the Liberty Island grounds and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. 

             Lady Liberty on her pedestal at Liberty Island in New York Harbor

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are open daily, except for December 25, but operations may occasionally be curtailed due to poor weather.  

Pedestal tickets are required to enter any level of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.  Access to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty was reopened to the public at the end of October 2012.  Due to extreme popularity only advanced reservations can guarantee access to the crown.  You can reserve you visit to include a Crown Ticket. The stair climb to the top is strenuous and definitely not for the claustrophobic.

You will need to decide whether to depart for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Battery Park (once a fortification and later an immigration center) on the southern tip of Manhattan or from Liberty State Park in New Jersey. If you choose to depart after 2:00 p.m., from either port, you will only be able to visit either Liberty Island or Ellis Island, as there is not time enough to tour both attractions before they close.

(If you depart from the Battery , you may see a  sculpture with a damaged, large metallicFritz Koenig damaged statue, recovered from the World Trade Center is now a memorial at the Battery sphere.  The sculpture, by Fritz Koenig, was commissioned for the World Trade Center.  It was recovered after the 9/11 attack and erected in Battery Park as a memorial.

Luggage, large packages and other large parcels are not permitted on the ferries or at Liberty or Ellis Island. Those traveling to either island are subject to a security search and a general delay of approximately 30 minutes after entering the screening facility before catching the ferry. The last boat from Liberty Island is at 5 p.m. and from Ellis Island at 5:15 p.m.

See the National Park Service website  for the Statue of Liberty for many interesting details on the Statue, as well as visiting Liberty Island.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island witnessed the immigration of over 12 million people between 1892 and 1954, when its operations ceased and the facility closed, initiating what became a long period of neglect.

            The Main Building at Ellis Island in New York Harbor, where many immigrants first set foot in America

The island’s Main Building was restored and opened as a three-floor museum in 1990 as the National Museum of Immigration. Its American Family Immigration History Center contains the manifests of over 25 million immigrants, passengers and crews of passenger ships that entered the United States via New York Harbor between 1892 and 1924. While visiting Ellis Island you can search their databases on site.  You can also search them online here. 

You can take a self-guided tour, although free Ranger guided tours are offered every 45 minutes throughout the day. Audio tours are also available for a modest fee. The Movie “Island of Hope, Island of Tears” contains clips of immigrants describing their experiences at Ellis Island.

An interesting piece of history about Ellis Island is that a portion of the landfill used to expand the original three-acre island to its current twenty- seven acre size came from the excavations of the New York Subway tunnels. Other sources of fill were ballast from the freighters the carried many of the immigrants to America.

Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. See the official National Park Service Website for Ellis Island  for more details on visiting.  As noted above, you will need to work with Statue Cruises (the official Concessioner of the National Park Service to reserve tickets for your visit.

If you need information about another travel destination, try our Destination Guide Index  or Googling ThereArePlaces.

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