~ Statue of Liberty ~

Disclaimer: Okay, so you are going to see several photos of Lady Liberty from several different angles. There is not much more to Liberty Island than the lady. After all that is why we go there.

Liberty Island is a small uninhabited island in New York Harbor, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. Though so called since the start of the 20th century, the name did not become official until 1956. In 1937, by Proclamation 2250, President Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the Statue of Liberty National Monument to include all of Bedloe's Island, and in 1956, an act of Congress officially renamed it. It became part of the National Register of Historic Places site Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island in 1966. Like Ellis Island Liberty Island has been closed to the public since Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. (February, 2013)

Liberty Island, like Ellis Island, actually lies within the waters of New Jersey. Liberty Island is located in the Upper New York Bay surrounded by the waters of Jersey City, New Jersey, but its built portions and docks fall under the jurisdiction of the City of New York. The historical developments which led to this construction created the rare situation of an exclave of one state, New York, being situated in another, New Jersey. The island is operated by the National Park Service, and since September 11, 2001, guarded by around-the-clock patrols of the United States Park Police Marine Patrol Unit. Liberty Island is 2000 feet east of Liberty State Park in Jersey City and is 1-5/8 statute miles southwest of Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. Public access is permitted only by ferries from either of the two parks, which also serve nearby Ellis Island to the north. Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Statue Cruises, holds the exclusive concession for ferry service to and from the island.

In 1824, the City of New York attempted to assert a jurisdictional monopoly over the growing steam ferry service in New York Harbor in Gibbons v. Ogden. It was deemed by the court that interstate transport would be regulated by the federal government. This did not resolve the border issue. In 1830, New Jersey planned to bring suit, but the matter was resolved with a compact between the states ratified by US Congress in 1834 which set the boundary line between them as the midpoint of the shared waterways. This was later confirmed by the US Supreme Court in a 1908 case which also expounded on the compact.

In 1987, US Representative Frank J. Guarini and Gerald McCann, then Mayor of Jersey City, sued New York City, contending that New Jersey should have dominion over Liberty Island because it is on the New Jersey side of the state line. By default, since the court chose not to hear the case, the existing legal status was unchanged. Portions of the island that are above water are part of New York, while riparian rights to all of the submerged land surrounding the statue belong to New Jersey.

A 1997 United States Supreme Court decision involved such riparian rights around nearby Ellis Island. Being mostly constructed of artificial infill, New Jersey argued and the court agreed that the 1834 compact covered only the natural parts of the island, and not the portions added by infill. Thus it was agreed that the parts of the island made of filled land belonged to New Jersey while the original natural part belonged to New York. This proved impractical to administer and New Jersey and New York subsequently agreed to share jurisdiction of the entire island. This special situation only applies to Ellis Island and part of Shooter's Island. The court chose not to comment on the precedent in the unlikely event that Liberty Island would be expanded.

Liberty Island has been owned by the federal government since 1801, first as military installation and now as a national landmark. Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1966, encompasses land in both states control of which is superseded by the United States. The undisputed boundary between New Jersey and New York is in the center of the Hudson River and the Upper New York Bay, with Liberty Island situated well on the New Jersey side of the line and that the built portions are an exclave of the State of New York and a part of New York City, allowing the state and city of New York to serve process there.

In response to a FAQ about whether the Statue of Liberty is in New York or New Jersey the National Park Service, which oversees it, cites the 1834 compact. Question 127 on a naturalization examination piloted in 2006 asks "Where is the Statue of Liberty?" The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gives "New York Harbor" and "Liberty Island" as preferred answers, but notes that "New Jersey," "near New York City," and "on the Hudson" are acceptable.

The Statue of Liberty itself is claimed as a symbol by both New York and New Jersey. It was featured on New York license plates from 1986 through 2000 and on a special New Jersey license plate celebrating Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The Statue is also seen on the New York State Quarter. The national monument was the symbol of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, still used by the Raritan Valley Line. The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal is located in Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

Though it is uninhabited, the United States Geological Survey includes it as part of New York's 8th congressional district. Both New York City and Jersey City have assigned the island lot numbers. Utility services, including electricity, water, and sewage, to Liberty and Ellis Islands are provided from the New Jersey side.

My view: she and the land she stands on belong to the people of the United States. The claims of both states are moot.



The above photos were taken from the ferry as we came around to the dock


Remember the three planes carrying the sign announcing the Parade of Blimps? Well, in the right photo are the three blimps following those planes up the Hudson River. Two of them are very close together and appear to be one.

It was a busy day on Liberty Island


The above two photos are also from the ferry, the rest were taken while on Liberty Island.
Statue Of Liberty Stats:
Weight of copper: 62,000 lbs. (31 tons)
Weight of steel: 250,000 lbs. (125 tons)
Weight of concrete foundation: 54,000,000 lbs
Thickness of copper sheeting is: 3/32 in.
Wind Sway: 50 mph winds cause the Statue to sway up to 3 inches and the torch up to 6 inches.


The girl in the photo on the left is mimicking Lady Liberty. This seems to be a favored pose, especially for women, when visiting the statue. The photo on the right was taken from the back of the island. That giant flag pole is probably about 75 feet tall. Perspective is everything.
In 1886, the Statue of Liberty standing on her pedestal, stood taller than any structure in New York City. At 305 feet, 1 inch, it exceeded even the Brooklyn Bridge, which had been completed three years earlier.

The detail above shows how the pieces of the Liberty jigsaw puzzle fit
together. Over 300 thin sheets of copper were sculpted seperately to
make up the outer skin of Liberty. They are 3/32" thick, which is about
the thickness of two pennies one atop the other. Not much body armor
has the Lady. The statue was shipped from France unassembled and
reassembled on her steel framework once the pedestal was completed.
Almost everyone who visits gets a shot like the one on the right.
It must be a tradition.


New York skyline from Liberty Island

Jersey City skyline from Liberty Island


Statue Of Liberty Timeline of Major Events:
  • 1811 Star-shaped Fort Wood built on Bedloe's (now Liberty) Island.
  • 1874 Fundraising for Statue begins in France.
  • 1877 Congress authorizes site for Statue but appropriates no money. Private fundraising begins for pedestal construction.
  • 1881 Statue assembly begins in Paris. Completed in 1884.
  • 1885 Statue dismantled and shipped to New York. Joseph Pulitzer begins nationwide fundraising for pedestal.
  • 1886 Statue reassembled and dedicated.
  • 1916 Black Tom explosion on New Jersey waterfront damages Statue and Ellis Island Great Hall. Visitor access to torch ends.
  • 1924 Statue of Liberty declared a national monument.
  • 1933 National Park Service takes over administration of Statue from War Department.
  • 1937 Statue closed for two-year restoration.
  • 1941 Military Police stationed on Liberty Island to guard Statue throughout WWII. I was born.
  • 1982 Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation established to raise money for restoration.
  • 1984 Statue closed for two-year restoration.
  • 2001 Statue and Liberty Island closed following 9/11 terrorist attack.
  • 2004 Improvements sufficient to provide full visitor access to observation deck level finished.
  • 2011 Interior access to the Statue is limited due to long-planned improvements to the interior.

Lady, it's time for your close ups!




Why is she green?
Originally, the statue was a dull copper color, but shortly after 1900 a green patina, also called verdigris, caused by the oxidation of the copper skin, began to spread. As early as 1902, it was mentioned in the press; by 1906 it had entirely covered the statue. Accepting a view that the patina was evidence of corrosion, Congress authorized $62,800 for various repairs, and to paint the statue both inside and out. There was considerable public protest against the proposed exterior painting. The Army Corps of Engineers studied the patina for any ill effects to the statue and concluded that it protected the skin, "softened the outlines of the Statue and made it beautiful." The statue was painted only on the inside.

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