Statue of Liberty National Monument

StatueofLiberty_signature1_CourtesyNPS.jpg
New York, NY
United States
Statue of Liberty National Monument

In 1886 Liberty Enlightening the World by French artist August Bartholdi was installed on a pedestal by Richard Morris Hunt, designed within the walls of the former Fort Wood (built in 1811) on Bedloe Island. In 1937 the National Park Service took on management of the site and began creating a park landscape, designed by landscape architect Norman Newton. Newton’s master plan asserted the role of the National Park Service as planners to create a landscape befitting a National Monument. Work began in the 1930s, utilizing several New Deal-era programs including the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to demolish former Army buildings, and continued until 1957, with a brief break during World War II.

In the 1980s the statue and grounds underwent rehabilitation and restoration efforts. In 1984 the National Park Service engaged Robert Zion of Zion & Breen Associates to restore the historic designed landscape. During this time, the island was expanded two acres to its current 12.7 acres via a granite block seawall which remains intact. Accessed by ferries from Liberty State Park in New Jersey and Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, the landscape is built around distinct circulation patterns designed to highlight historically significant views. The site features two malls, set at right angles with a large, circular flagpole plaza at their intersection. The Arrival Mall leads from the ferry dock to the plaza; the Main Mall, lined with double rows of trees, from the plaza to the monument entrance. Other landscape features include the expansive lawn in front of the Statue and a grove of London planes dedicated as a memorial to the events of September 11th. A sunken perimeter path around the island offers views of Manhattan and Ellis Island, and was repaved in red brick in 1986 (along with others at the time). In 1924, the site was declared a National Monument along with Ellis Island, and in 1966 the island, renamed Liberty Island, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.