Lady Liberty

“Those who stand for nothing,
fall for anything.”
Alexander Hamilton

Lady Liberty

Edward Moran’s painting of the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty in 1886

Standing tall in New York harbor, the Statue of Liberty can only be viewed from a distance right now. However, last summer, architect Paul Davidson spent ten nights inside of the Statue of Liberty. During the hours when it wasn’t packed full of tourists, he and his team carried out a first-of-its-kind laser scan, capturing the statue’s interior. They’ve been documenting the statue as part of the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey. The new virtual tour is just part of the project. This scan will serve as a high-tech, three-dimensional blueprint for everything from research to reconstruction – if anything ever should happen to the statue.

The biggest challenge for surveying the statue is the fact that it is never still; “it’s constantly moving in the wind,” he said. “And when you’re surveying, you want it to be static. But, when we were in that torch, the wind was probably five or ten miles an hour. It was swaying, about three or four inches. It was kind of like being on a boat.”

Most people don’t know that the statue was meant to sway. Its flexible support system was designed by French architect Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. Perhaps you’ve heard of his tower in Paris. When “Liberty Enlightening the World” was dedicated on October 28, 1886, it was the highest structure in all of New York City – a triumph of engineering, and an instant international icon.

For all those who can’t visit in person, you can now explore the statue online like never before. To experience this virtual tour, featuring every nook-and-cranny of the statue’s interior, including areas traditionally off-limits to visitors of Lady Liberty, go to:

https://www.nps.gov/hdp/exhibits/stli/stli_tour.html

Shine On

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