Monday, July 12, 2010
That's as close as I got to the Statue of Liberty. :-p It would be really nice to see the REAL thing someday...
In the late 80s, the Statue was under construction, and closed. The best vision we had of it from the Staten Island ferry was a tall structure concealed by a metal cage. The Statue had become dirty, from what I remember... a crew was assigned to restore the corroded copper plating.
Did you know that the Statue of Liberty is entirely plated with 8,000 square feet of copper? And that there are 354 steps up the Statue inside (talk about fitness equipment!), leading to 25 windows under her diadem, from which you can take in the incredible New York Harbor?
The original torch was removed in 1986. Wikipedia has a photo of it, here. The torch was constructed in 1886, repaired in 1916, and replaced in 1986 (they said they were unable to repair it).
Here's some REALLY wacky trivia about the Statue:
At 2:45 p.m. on February 2, 1912, steeplejack Frederick R. Law successfully performed a parachute jump from the observation platform surrounding the torch. It was done with the permission of the army captain administering the island. The New York Times reported that he "fell fully seventy-five feet like a dead weight, the parachute showing no inclination whatsoever to open at first", but he then descended "gracefully", landed hard, and limped away.
...On August 23, 2001, French acrobat Thierry Devaux parasailed onto the monument and got hung up on the statue's torch in a bungled attempt to bungee jump from it. He was not hurt and was charged with four misdemeanor offenses including trespassing.
In 1982, Jessica Skinner was born inside the statue. Her mother went into labor while climbing the stairs, and gave birth before she could get back to ground level.