The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the people of the United States by the people of France.
As a symbol of friendship between the two nations, the statue also commemorated the 100th anniversary of American independence. There are two other Statue of Liberties which reside in Swan Ally Island and the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.
The architect and designer of the Statue of Liberty was Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who was born in Colmar, France, in 1834. The design of the statue’s pedestal was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, who was an American architect.
Building of the Statue of Liberty started in 1875, and the cost of the project was shared between France and America as it was soon realized that it would be extremely expensive. Elaborate fund-raising events were held by the Franco-American Union, but they were not very successful.
More funds were needed to complete the building of the statue and fund-raising continued to be a problem. In France, a large lottery was held and clay models of the Statue were sold. In America, Joseph Pulitzer, the owner of the newspaper “The World” used the power of the press to bring America together and raised more than $100,000 for the project. If it weren’t for these significant contributions, the Statue of Liberty might not have been built.
Construction of the Statue of Liberty was finally complete in 1884 and was dismantled and shipped to Bedloe’s Island, New York, where it arrived in 1885 inside 214 wooden packing crates. Reassembly and construction of the pedestal took six months, and the Statue was finally unveiled on October 28, 1886. Those who attended included President Grover Cleveland, the governor of New York, and the French Ambassador.
When the Statue of Liberty was built, it was the tallest structure in New York, at 305 feet. Its green color is actually due to the tarnishing of the copper sheets covering the statue’s frame. Today, the Statue of Liberty symbolizes the concept of personal freedom and has become a timeless American icon and visual center of New York Harbor.