Plans were unveiled on Friday for a new, 26,000-square-foot
Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island in New York Harbor that is projected
to open to the public in 2019.
The museum is the key component of a Liberty Island
beautification plan that calls for new landscaping and lighting. The museum is
being designed to give visitors the opportunity to learn more about the statue’s
history, influence and legacy.
The current Statue of Liberty Museum, located
inside the Statue of Liberty monument, is only accessible to a small portion of
the statue’s 4.3 million annual visitors due to security measures that were put
in place following Sept. 11, 2001.
Access to the new museum will be free with purchase of a
ferry ticket to visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Liberty Island will
continue to be open to visitors during construction of the new museum. Ferry
tickets and boat schedules to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are
available at www.statuecruises.com.
The museum will have a mural at the entrance, featuring
stars crafted from the original iron bars (created by engineer Gustave Eiffel) that
supported the Statue of Liberty for 100 years until they were removed and
preserved during the 1986 centennial restoration.
Exhibits and artifacts will be on display, including the statue’s
original torch. There will also be a green roof-scape. Interior and exterior
spaces will be built with materials native to Liberty Island and those used to
build the Statue of Liberty, including Stony Creek granite, bronze, plaster and
a variety of native vegetation.
In accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) floodplain management policies, the museum will be set above 500-year
flood levels and will be built to withstand hurricane-force winds.
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is overseeing the
fundraising campaign that seeks to raise $100 million for the Statue of
Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, which together with the National Park Service
carries out restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The
projected cost of the museum is $70 million.