If you are a New Yorker living in the city, or a tourist visiting from afar, there is one thing that comes to mind, that so homogeneously represents the symbolism of freedom, liberty, and the American way. And that is of course the Statue of Liberty. While many Americans are intrigued to go visit Lady liberty. Let us take a journey to see the inception of this symbolic architect.
The idea to gift the Statue of Liberty to America was first brought up by Edouard Rene de Laboulaye, a prominent French author, and anti-slavery activist. He wanted to celebrate the end of the American civil war and the abolitionism of slavery. French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi inspired by Edouards idea concurred, and started on the design of the Statue of Liberty. With 1876 the finish date in mind, Frederic went to work along with the famed Gustave Eiffel, to construct the statue. Yes the very same person who helped construct the Eiffel Tower! This gift from France to America was given the surname “Liberty Enlightening the World”
The construction would be a joint effort by French and America to strengthen the international communal bond. The French would construct the Statue, and America would oversee the pedestal. Finally after ten years of hard work and dedication the Statue of Liberty was completed in France in 1885. The total cost amounting to $250,000, which taking inflation into consideration would be millions of dollars in todays standard. After finishing the construction there was still one more challenge to overcome, as transporting a huge statue across the ocean was no easy feat. The French decided on disassembling the Statue of Liberty to 350 pieces and ship it to New York.
On October 28,1886 the Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled on Ellis Island With President Grover Cleveland at the helm of the ceremony. Ushering in tourists and spectators alike for many years to come. It is now a beacon of hope that stand atop Ellis Island for all to come see. Atop the statue engraves reads a beautiful poem by Emma Lazurus that ends with “Send these the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp besides the golden door!