Expansive Statue of Liberty Museum Coming to Liberty Island in 2019

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statue of liberty museum expansion
Credit: FXFOWLE Architects

One of New York City’s most historically significant and culturally symbolic landmarks is getting a major upgrade. This past week, final plans were unveiled for a 26,000 square-foot museum, plaza, and rooftop terrace on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Designed by FXFOWLE Architects with interior spaces handled by ESI Design, the museum will also include a sprawling outdoor plaza with steps leading up to a rooftop terrace with incredible views of the city.

While the Statue of Liberty itself has undergone numerous restorations over the years, the monument has struggled to spatially accommodate the heavy volume of tourists eager to visit the iconic sculpture. The new layout will alleviate overcrowding and the museum will provide much more in-depth historical context (not to mention the outstanding backdrop of the Manhattan skyline).

new statue of liberty museum
Credit: FXFOWLE Architects

Facing the back of Lady Liberty, the museum will be built with the very same materials as the statue itself: namely Stone Creek granite, bronze, and plaster.

The project is a collaboration between The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service. Diane Von Furstenberg is heading the fundraising and spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. So far, over half of the $70 million needed has already been raised.

Inside the museum will be four main attractions:

  1. The Liberty Star Mural, which will contain 50 star sculptures created from iron bars that Gustave Eiffel (the man behind both The Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower) originally used for the statue. The bars were originally part of the support structure but were removed during the first major restoration 30 years ago.
  2. The Immersive Theater, consisting of three different theater spaces, will provide the full history and lasting impact of the statue as a major American symbol.
  3. The Engagement Gallery, a more interactive look at the construction and life of the statue.
  4. The Inspiration Gallery, a large mosaic where guests will be able to post photos and sign their names.

The project will no doubt allow a trip to The Statue of Liberty to become a much fuller, multi-faceted experience than it has been in the past. Whether it’s a high school field trip or a Saturday afternoon with your grandmother, the new complex promises to be more accessible and visually stunning.

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