She’s as iconic as a symbol can be, and come 2019 there will be much more to see when you visit Lady Liberty!
Last week the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc invited me to the groundbreaking ceremony for construction on Liberty Island in the NY Harbor. The new Statue of Liberty Museum will be a fresh, modern building of interactive exhibits about the statue and what she represents. Inviting landscaping and redesigning the green spaces of the island will also create a new outdoor space to enjoy in NYC while basking in the green patina of Lady Liberty.
It was a gorgeous day on the island and in the shadow of the statue we were given the details of a new vision for its future. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio shared his connection to the island through his Italian grandparents who migrated over, and fundraising chair Diane von Furstenberg told us of her ideas and efforts.
Diane migrated over on a ship, sailing right past the very statue that continues to inspire her. As “godmother” of this Lady Liberty endeavor, her contributions are responsible for the restoration and future of this new legacy. A unique American flag mural will incorporate original iron bars that once supported the statue into a wall of “Liberty Stars” that will display the names of high level donors.
I love the ideas that were shared, especially the goals of using the current setting as part of the whole visitor experience. Enjoying Liberty Island now seems to only be a quick pitstop in between Ellis Island and a ferry dock, but repurposing the area will give people more to appreciate…and hopefully reflect on what the visit inspires in them. I think the museum’s use of immersive technology will change how we think of cultural heritage visits, but also breath new life into a place that was very restricted following 9/11. It’s a new chapter in her legacy, and much like what she represents, is also the hope of a new beginning.
Mark your calendars! You’ll definitely want to see the “new” Liberty Island, and I’m willing to bet it will be *the* place to be in NYC. I’ll certainly be following along, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
About The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created museums on both islands, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor®, the American Family Immigration History Center®, and most recently The Peopling of America Center® which transformed the museum into the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The Foundation’s endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.
About Statue of Liberty National Monument and the National Park Service
“The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and designated as a National Monument in 1924. In 1984 the Statue of Liberty was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 1933 the Statue of Liberty has been administered by the National Park Service, which is celebrating its centennial year in 2016.