The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service recently held a ceremonial opening for the new 26,000-square-foot Statue of Liberty Museum. The $70 million expansion opened May 16 and is expected to welcome over 4.3 million visitors annually.
As previously reported by Jersey Digs, FXCollaborative Architects and ESI Design helmed the architecture and interior design of the new facility. Plans for the new museum and expansion, which included a plaza and a rooftop terrace on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, were approved in November 2016 and included three gallery spaces as well as a room for the Statue of Liberty’s original torch.
“Rescued from the elements and replaced in 1986, the torch is the most powerful artifact visitors encounter as they reach the end of the museum experience,” the foundation said in a news release. “The museum merges landscape and building, and the roof is planted with native meadow grasses and offers visitors sweeping, panoramic views of Lady Liberty, lower Manhattan, and all of New York Harbor.”
The original torch was previously held at the museum at the pedestal of the statue. The foundation said the museum is part of a $100 million beautification campaign.
Boonton-based Phelps Construction Group, who oversaw the restoration and expansion of the Peopling of America Center on Ellis Island, was the construction manager for the project.
FXCollaborative said the project is expected to receive LEED Gold certification.
According to a news release from the foundation, Liberty Mutual is the lead corporate sponsor of the project. Allen & Company, American Express, The Bezos Family, and Carnegie Corporation of New York, to name a few, also donated to the project.
The new Statue of Liberty Museum is accessible via Liberty State Park, where the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently proposed a 251-acre restoration campaign funded by settlements with past polluters. DEP said it intends to initially focus on the restoration of 23 acres of wetlands.