When will the Statue of Liberty’s crown re open for tourists?
There is good news for people traveling to New York City this summer. One of the most popular spots for tourists will be open for traffic after nearly 8 years. The Statue of Liberty’s crown, an observation area high above Liberty Island with great views of the New York City skyline and bridges, will reopen on the 4th of July. Millions of tourists have made the trek up winding staircases and elevators to get a view from Lady Liberty’s crown. The crown was closed after the September 11 terror strikes, to much criticism from the public. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made the announce on the morning of Friday, May 8th, 2009.
Salazar told US media that 30 visitors an hour would be allowed up to the crown, a step down from pre September 11th rates of as many as 60-80 per hour.
Access to the crown – seated atop a very narrow staircase of 168 steps — was suspended after the terror strikes on US targets.
The entirety of Libert Island closed on September 11, 2001, though most of the island’s attractions reopened that same December. However, the majority of the Statue of Liberty has remained closed. Most people assume it is because there is a terrorist threat, however the National Park Service claims that the statue is shut down “because of a long list of fire regulation contraventions”, including seriously inadequate evacuation procedures.
The museum and the first ten stories of the statue’s pedestal are open for visitors, but are only accessible if NYC visitors obtain a “Monument Access Pass”. This Pass is like a reservation that visitors must make before their visit to the Island. The Pass has to be picked up before Liberty Island visitors board the ferry taking them to the island. The interior of the statue remains closed until July 4th, but a glass ceiling has been installed in the pedestal to allow great views of the Statue of Liberty’s iron framework.
Visitors to Liberty Island report that they are often subjected to restrictions similar to those found in airports, like personal searches and searches of their bags and purses.
The Statue of Liberty has been threatened by terrorism before, according to the FBI. In 1965, the FBI announced it had uncovered a terrorist plot to destroy the Statue of Liberty along with two other major US monuments. Three terrorists from the Black Liberation Front (with alleged ties to Cuba) and a fourth terrorist from Montreal were sent to destroy the statue as well as the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and the famous Washington monument in DC.
For now, tourists can climb up to the base of the statue and the lower observation areas of the Statue – a traditional US symbol of freedom.
The Statue was given to the US as a gift by French artist Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. The gift was designed to mark the 1876 centennial of the US Declaration of Independence, which had a major impact on French politics, eventually leading the people into revolution, mirroring America’s own revolt.