1 March 2013 - STATUE of LIBERTY

G'day guys,

Now here is a structure I have visited and risked life and limb to reach the top-most viewing point - the Statue of Liberty in New York City. I visited it with a good mate I'd started school with, both of us having just left Washington DC, heading to London. Two things always stand out about that visit:

1. We arrived by taxi and the taxi driver spent an enormous amount of time telling us how big and great his city was. When we alighted from the taxi, my mate pointed to all the high-rise cranes on new building sites and made a bold, but honest statement, 'Mate, see all those cranes? All come from Australia ... every one of them.'  

2. We approached the building and found we could not enter the staircase that led to the top due to maintenance being carried out. However, one of the workmen heard our Aussie accents and allowed us to enter and he became our personal guide for the next hour. 

Anyway ...

Liberty Enlightening the World , known as the Statue of Liberty, is one of the most famous New York State US and worldwide structures, located on Liberty Island south of the island of Manhattan, near the mouth of the Hudson River near Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to the Americans in 1886 to commemorate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence of the United States and as a sign of friendship between the two nations. It was inaugurated on October 28, 1886 in the presence of U.S. President at the time, Grover Cleveland. The statue is the work of French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and the internal structure was designed by engineer Gustave Eiffel.

The French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was responsible for the choice of the brass used for the construction of the statue . On October 15, 1924, the statue was declared a National Monument and the United States, on October 15, 1965, added Ellis Island. Since 1984 it has been considered World Heritage by UNESCO.

The Statue of Liberty, as well as being an important monument in the city of New York, became a symbol of U.S. occupation and in a more general level, freedom and emancipation from oppression. Since its opening in 1886, the statue was the first vision they had when European immigrants arrived to America after crossing the Atlantic Ocean. In architectural terms, the statue recalls the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the "seven wonders of the world." She was nominated for the "new world wonders," and was a finalist. The name given by UNESCO is "National Monument Statue of Liberty." Since June 10, 1933, responsibility for its administration is the National Park Service of the United States.

There are several hypotheses of historians on the model that could have been used to determine the face of the statue.  Among the possible inspiration for the statue's face is Isabella Eugenie Boyer, widow of millionaire inventor Isaac Singer. 

In France, the campaign for the promotion of the statue started in autumn 1875 and it was the founding in 1874 of the so-called Franco-American Union, which took charge of organizing the fundraising for the memorial. All media of the period were used for this purpose: newspaper articles, shows, banquets, taxes, lotteries, etc. Several French cities,  the General Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Orient of France and thousands of individuals made donations for the construction of the statue. There were a total of 100,000 donors.  

Before the end of 1875, funds amounted to a total of 400,000 francs, but the budget was later increased to 1,000,000 francs in the period.  Meanwhile, in the United States were theatrical performances, art exhibitions, auctions and professional boxing matches to raise funds for construction. 

The statue is located on the island of Liberty in New York Harbour. Originally the island was known as Bedloe Island, and served as a military base - a former artillery bastion built of granite and whose foundations in the form of eleven pointed star, formed the basis for the construction of the base of the statue. 

In 1887, the United States Congress gave its approval for the construction of the statue and General W. T. Sherman was named to designate the land where the monument would be built. This site chose as Bedloe Island. Fifteen years before the inauguration, Bartholdi had anticipated the construction of the monument on the island of Bedloe, fascinated by youth and promise of liberty for this nation and its imagined oriented continent of origin, the Europe that welcomed and would continue to welcome immigrants. It was not until 1956 that the U.S. Congress decided a name change Bedloe Island Liberty Island to the "island of freedom ".

 The necessary funds for the construction of the basement designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt and built by engineer Charles Pomeroy Stone, met in August 1884. The first stone of the pedestal was laid on August 5, 1884, while the base, mostly composed Kersanton stone, was built between October 9, 1883 and August 22, 1886.

When the last stone of the monument was placed, the builder took several coins from his pockets, and threw them into the mortar. Participants in the ceremony left their business cards, medals and newspapers in a small chest of brass, and deposited it into the socket. 

At the heart of the block that makes up the base, two sets of beams connecting it directly to the internal structure designed by Gustave Eiffel so that the statue forms a whole with its pedestal. The stone that forms the base of the Statue of Liberty comes from a quarry in a village in France, Euville, in the department of Meuse, famous for the whiteness of its stone and its qualities of resistance to erosion and sea water .
The different parts of the statue were completed in France in July 1884. The dismantling began in January 1885. The statue was sent to Rouen by train, then by boat down the Seine, before arriving at the port of Le Havre. The monument arrived in New York on June 17, 1886, aboard the French frigate Isère, and received a triumphal welcome by New York. To make possible the crossing of the Atlantic, a statue was dismantled in 350 pieces, divided into 214 boxes, bearing in mind that the right arm and the flame were already on U.S. soil, where they had been exposed in the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and then New York. 36 boxes were reserved for the nuts, rivets and bolts needed for assembly.  Upon arrival at destination, the statue was assembled in four months on its new pedestal. Different parts were held together by copper rivets and clothing allowed the problems of expansion.

On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was inaugurated in the presence of U.S. President at the time, Grover Cleveland, former governor of New York in front of 600 guests and thousands of viewers.  Frédéric Desmons by then, Vice President of the Senate, represented France at the opening. Ferdinand de Lesseps and many Freemasons were also present. The monument represented a gift and celebrating the centennial of American independence, even if delivered with ten years of delay. The success of the monument grew rapidly: in the two weeks following the opening, about 20,000 people had submitted to admire it. The frequency of the site went from 88,000 visitors a year, one million in 1964 and three million 1987. It currently receives about 3.2 million people a year. 

The statue functioned as a lighthouse from the date of assembly. At this time, the 'U.S. Lighthouse board "was responsible for ensuring its operation. The power of the beam was such that it was visible at a distance of 39 kilometers. A generator was installed on the island to supply power to the structure.

Clancy's comment: Visit this statue if ever you get the chance. It is amazing.


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Plots in satara has left a new comment on your post "1 March 2013 - STATUE of LIBERTY": When I saw the statue of liberty first time at that time I understand why it consist in wonders of the world.  

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