The Statue of Liberty

BY Natalie M.J. & Karla C.

Origins of the Statue of Liberty

The statue is a national monument that was a gift from France as an act of friendship between the two countries. It was built in France by french sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. He was responsible for creating it out of sheets of hammered copper. However, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the Eiffel Tower, designed the statue's framework. Upon completing the statue, they sent it over to the United States to be displayed on an american designed pedestal on a small island in upper New York Bay, which is now known a Liberty Bay. The Statue of Liberty stands today as a symbol of freedom and democracy, as well as one of the worlds most recognizable landmarks.

Reason the Statue was Built

Drawing near the end of the American Civil War, the french historian Edouard de Laboulaye proposed the idea that France should create and give a statue to the US a gift in celebration of the nations success in establishing a functioning democracy.

Building the Lady Liberty

Work on the statue didn't begin until 1875. Bartholdi called this "Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" which portrayed a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand as well as a tablet with the engraved date "July 4, 1776." The woman's face is said to have been modeled after Bartholdi's mother. He hammered large copper sheets to create the statues "skin," using a technique called repousse. The skeleton, created by Eiffel as well as Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, was made of iron pylon and steel, held the copper plates. When the statue was completed in 1885, it was taken apart and then shipped to New York where workers resembled the statue and was places on the pedestal.

Interesting Facts

  • Lady Liberty wears a size 879 shoe
  • Visitors have to climb 354 stairs to reach the statue’s crown
  • 305 feet and 1 inch tall
  • Total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons (or 450,000 pounds)
  • She has a 35 foot waist line