With astronomical summer having begun Friday, New York residents and visitors are making their seasonal move from The Great Indoors to The Great Outdoors in earnest, and one of the biggest attractions will be the Statue of Liberty, No. 1 among the “World’s Most Popular Landmarks,” according to Travel + Leisure magazine. More than 3 million people annually have hopped ferries to Liberty Island to see it in recent years.
This year has been different from most because of the effects of Superstorm Sandy, the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Its impacts resulted in the Statue of Liberty being closed since last October. However, both the magnificent statue and its surrounding Liberty Island in New York Harbor will reopen to the public the Fourth of July, according to the U.S. National Park Service. (Alas, nearby Ellis Island will remain closed until further notice because it requires more extensive repairs.)
Reservations and tickets to the Statue of Liberty are now available, including tickets to the statue’s crown and pedestal, the park service said.
Superstorm Sandy actually did not damage the Statue of Liberty all that badly, but it did do a real number on its associated infrastructure on Liberty Island, as reported by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency in the above video.
“Where we suffered a lot of damage was infrastructure,” the narrator of the video said last month. “Cobblestones, docks, support buildings that contained locker rooms, communication centers, fencing, some of our outdoor exhibits, interpretive panels, way-finding exhibits … suffered a lot of damage. Visibly most recognizable to the visitors was damage to the docks.” As a result, the narrator said: “New docks are going to be constructed here at Liberty Island. We’re in the process of relaying about 50,000 pavers, and walkways.”
Speaking of Lady Liberty herself, the narrator described her as an engineering marvel when she was built almost 130 years ago. She weathered Superstorm Sandy so well because she was designed to sway in a wind, her head about three inches off center and her arm about six inches off center. “They say that in order for her to get to that kind of motion, … a Category 4 hurricane would have to enter the bay,” the narrator said. Sandy was a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale while in New York Harbor last fall.
Check out below a few of the many photographs focused on the Statue of Liberty over the years.
The Sun sets behind the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on May 26. Reuters
A man looks out at the Statue of Liberty as the Sun sets over New York Harbor on May 26. Reuters
A rare triple conjunction of the planets Venus, Jupiter and Mercury is seen in the sky over the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on May 26. Reuters
The Statue of Liberty is surrounded by dust from a nearby imploded building in New York on June 9. Reuters