Statue of Liberty Facts

By Juhi Upadhyay

The Statue of Liberty is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Unveiled to the public on 28 October 1886, the Statue of Liberty witnesses more than four million visitors annually. 

Given the monument’s age, it has a rich history of fascinating stories. 

Right from its conception to the Island it sits on, the Statue of Liberty facts will help you understand its purpose.

These facts will help you appreciate the monument better.

Let’s jump in and learn about the Statue of Liberty history and other details.

Why Was the Statue of Liberty Made? 

It will come as a surprise to many who don’t know much about the Statue of Liberty that it was a gift from French people.

Even though it was unveiled in 1886, the idea of the Statue of Liberty was conceptualized way earlier, in 1868. 

The French historian and abolitionist Edouard de Laboulaye proposed it as a monument commemorating the upcoming centennial of US independence (1876).

The Statue of Liberty was built to celebrate the perseverance of American democracy and the liberation of the nation’s slaves. 

As a national symbol, the Statue of Liberty is synonymous with the American ideals of equality, democracy, and freedom. The torch held by Lady Liberty symbolizes enlightenment. 

Since the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French, it also celebrates and commemorates the friendship between the people of the United States and France. 

The Statue of Liberty general admission tickets are the cheapest way to visit the Statue of Liberty and see Lady Liberty from close up.

Who Made the Statue of Liberty?

The French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi designed the Statue of Liberty. 

Another interesting fact about the Statue of Liberty is that Gustave Eiffel did the metalwork. 

He designed the Eiffel Tower, another famous monument in the world. The Statue of Liberty was built in France and then dismantled into several pieces to transport it to the USA. 

It was sent to the USA on boats and put back together as it arrived. 

The statue was constructed of copper sheets, hammered into shape by hand, and assembled over a framework of four gigantic steel supports designed by Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Gustave Eiffel. 

The American architect Richard Morris Hunt designed the pedestal. It was built within the walls of Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island. 

Get the guided Statue of Liberty tickets not just to appreciate the beauty of Lady Liberty but to learn about the various fascinating facts about the Statue of Liberty from an expert guide. 

The guided walking tour of Liberty Island is insightful and will help you appreciate this majestic statue. 

Visitors can also take the usual Statue of Liberty tickets and pair them with the engaging audio tour to make their visit informative. 

Other Facts about the Statue of Liberty

Beyond these Statue of Liberty facts, there are various other fascinating Statue of Liberty facts to intrigue and amuse you. 

How Tall Is the Statue of Liberty?

The Statue of Liberty is 151 feet tall. However, it is standing on a pedestal, which is 154 feet tall, making the entire sculpture 305 feet tall.

It is the tallest statue in the USA. For a brief time in history, the Statue of Liberty was also the world’s tallest.

For reference, the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, is 597 ft (182m) from feet to the top. The statue’s total height from its pedestal is an impressive 790 ft (240 meters). 

Visitors require Statue of Liberty Pedestal tickets to visit the pedestal portion. It is different from the Statue of Liberty general admission tickets

What Is the Statue of Liberty Made of?

The Statue of Liberty comprises a thin layer of copper 3/32 in. (2.4 millimeters) thick. It is the same as two U.S. pennies put together. 

The total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons (or 450,000 pounds). 

According to Cara Sutherland in her book on the Statue for Museum of the City of New York, 200,000 was needed to build the statue to begin the construction. 

Out of this, 128,000 pounds (58,000kg) of copper was donated by the French copper Industrialist Eugene Secretan. 

Why Is the Statue of Liberty Green?

One of the most intriguing Statue of Liberty facts is its unique green color. 

The Statue of Liberty has a thin outer layer of copper. The metal copper reacts with the oxygen in the air over time and gives it its green patina. 

Copper reacts with atmospheric oxygen and oxidizes. This is the reason the Statue of Liberty is green in appearance. 

The original color of the Statue of Liberty was reddish-brown copper or shiny brown when France originally gifted it.

In 30 years, by 1906, the oxidation had covered the Statue of Liberty with the now iconic green patina.

What Is the History of Liberty Island?

Visitors take a ferry to Liberty Island to visit the Statue of Liberty. 

Today, it is part of the US, but it was once under European colonization.

It was also a private island before becoming a State Sovereign Island. 

During the mid-17th century, three neighboring islands (later known as Liberty, Ellis and Black Tom) were named Oyster Islands.

For the longest time, the island on which the Statue of Liberty is located was called Bedloe’s Island, its owner, Issac Bedloe. 

He bought the island in 1667 and sold it in 1732 for five shillings to New York Merchants Adolphe Phillipse and Henry Lane. 

On February 15, 1800, the New York State Legislature ceded the island to the federal government to construct a defensive fort. 

However, by 1880, the first idea was abandoned as it had become obsolete. The island was chosen as the site of the Statue of Liberty. 

What is the Statue of Liberty Modeled After? 

Today, we know that the Statue of Liberty is a woman.

But when it was unveiled in 1886, many speculated that Lady Liberty’s face resembled a man!

There are many theories and speculations. However, her creator, sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, had a vision for his statue. 

Although he never confirmed this, there is a significant similarity between the Statue of Liberty and the mother of Bartholdi, Augusta Charlotte. 

There is an obvious inspiration from the Roman goddess Libertas, a female figure clad in robes. However, the sculpture was first inspired by the colossal figure guarding Nubian tombs.

There is an obvious succession of his earlier work, which was never built, “Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia,” which was to be installed at the Suez Canal entrance. 

Thus, the Statue of Liberty is a mixture of all of these and some more that inspired the artist Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

Even though guests can’t visit the Statue of Liberty at night, there are various Statue of Liberty Night Tours  that allow a close-up look at Lady Liberty at night from the water. 

From City Light Yacht Cruise with drinks to La Barca All-Inclusive Mexican Dinner Cruise, there are plenty of options to make your tour memorable, with stunning views of Lady Liberty and fun memories.

What is the Story of the Torch of the Statue of Liberty? 

One of the most fascinating Statue of Liberty Facts is the current torch replicating the original. Yes! You read that right. 

The original torch was on display with the Statue of Liberty till 1984. It was replaced to bring something newer, more efficient, and contemporary. 

It was also done to better represent the wishes of the Statue’s designer, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. 

Bartholdi designed the torch to be a mass of copper covered in a thin layer of gold leaf. The torch’s balcony was meant to have a series of floodlights to illuminate it. 

However, this design was altered due to the fear of passerby pilots being blinded by the floodlights. 

Bartholdi made his due adjustments, cut portholes in the flames, and placed lights inside. When it was unveiled, these light bulbs weren’t nearly as strong as anticipated. 

The torch was not visible after dark. So, the flame/torch was replaced by a replica covered in 24-carat gold in 1984. 

The original torch is now on display at the Statue of Liberty Museum. 

What is the Statue of Liberty holding in her hands?

The Statue of Liberty is full of symbolism. On her right hand, Lady Liberty is seen holding a torch. While on her left hand, she is seen cradling a tablet-like object. 

She is holding the torch above her head, which is the topmost part of the Statue of Liberty. It is the symbol of enlightenment. 

The Statue of Liberty’s torch lights the way to freedom, showing a clear path to liberty.

The tabula ansata was inscribed on July 4, 1776, in Roman numerals. This tablet is the symbol of the “rule of the law.” It is one of the basic tenets of America and the definition of democracy. 

What is the Official Name of the Statue of Liberty?

Yes, the Statue of Liberty is not the official name. This is one of the most surprising Statue of Liberty facts. 

The official name of the statue is “Liberty Enlightening the World.”

When in New York, your visit is incomplete without visiting the Empire State Building; it is one of the famous observation decks in the city, offering views of Lady Liberty. 

There are plenty more observation decks along with attractions, museums, and tours worth your time. 

Visitors can pick up the New York CityPASS, which allows them to visit the top five attractions from a list that includes the Empire State Building and the NYC Circle-Line Harbor Lights Cruise Skip-the-Box Office. 

Other alternatives that allow for more flexibility and options include the New York City Sightseeing Flex Pass and the New York City Sightseeing Day Pass.


How did the Statue of Liberty get to New York?

The Statue of Liberty is a gift from the people of France, and it was built there. Once it was built, it was disassembled and sent on ship. 

One of the first parts to drive on the shore of America was the torch and the head portion. Once all the parts were here, it was put back together on Liberty Island.

The Statue of Liberty was unveiled to the public on 28 October 1886. Buy the Statue of Liberty guided tickets to uncover more fascinating facts. 

How many steps are in the Statue of Liberty? 

From ground level to the balcony/top of the pedestal, there are 192 steps. The staircases are wide and easy to climb. There is also an elevator and a service elevators.

One of the Statue of Liberty pedestal facts is that visitors again need to climb 162 steps to reach the Crown of the Statue of Liberty. 

The stairs are narrow and steep; thus, it is difficult for a few visitors. There are no elevators from the Pedestal deck to the Crown. The only option is to take the stairs. 

Know about the Statue of Liberty Visiting tips to ensure you don’t make rookie mistakes.

Featured Image: Ricky Turner on Unsplash

About the author

Juhi aims to hunt her paradise on earth. Her motto is, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s definitely on my list.”