Gifted to the United States in 1885 to celebrate and commemorate our centennial anniversary the following year, the Statue of Liberty originally arrived in pieces, displayed around New York City to raise support for the financing of the pedestal. With a campaign and donation matching request led by newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer, the fundraising efforts took over 10 years to determine a permanent location for the statue and to raise enough to pay for its pedestal, as the United States Congress refused to finance it.
Standing at just over 151-feet-tall, Lady Liberty is the tallest statue in the United States. She is mounted on the massive star shaped footprint and pedestal, which gives her a total height of 305-feet, 1-inch from ground level to torch, allowing her to be seen from anywhere with a clean line-of-sight in New York City and parts of New Jersey.
The Statue of Liberty National Monument sits on the aptly named Liberty Island and is managed by the United States National Park Service. The land was originally known to New Yorkers as Bedloe's Island, only being renamed to Liberty Island in 1956 by and act of the United Stated Congress. The island was private for a century following the Dutch surrender of Fort Amsterdam to the British in 1664, where the original owner, Captain Robert Needham, sold it to the namesake Isaac Bedloe. It shifted hands privately and to businesses until February 1758, when the City of New York purchased the island for one thousand pounds to hold terminally ill patients with infectious diseases.
After the United States won independence, the star-shaped Fort Wood was constructed on the island and was completed in 1811. Never used for battle, the aging fort was mostly dismantled for the mounting of the Statue of Liberty and pedestal, which maintained the original 11-point footprint for its foundation.
In this short aerial video from our Above New York series, see the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island from a unique birds-eye-view on a gloomy day in New York Harbor. This is likely one of the last times you will see a drone video shot this close to the Statue of Liberty, as the FAA and DOI have recently imposed special restrictions on the proximity of flight to this, and other U.S. National Monuments. This video was captured before the new restrictions took effect.
Music: "Release" by Pogo
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