Lady Liberty, “a mighty woman with a torch,” as Emma Lazarus’ poem, “The New Colossus,” defines her, has a new $70 million museum in which to tell her story. Inside the stately garden pavilion at the north end of 12-acre Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by FXCollaborative, immersive and interactive exhibits detailing the Statue of Liberty’s history, design and role as a symbol of freedom and opportunity fill the 26,000-square-foot space. Among the prized artifacts on display is the statue’s original copper torch, which was held high from dedication day in 1886 until its removal and replacement 100 years later. Outside, on the roof, a grassy landscape has been planted with native meadow grasses. From the adjoining platform, visitors take in 360-degree views of Lower Manhattan, New Jersey, the harbor and Lady Liberty herself, standing tall, proud and invincible just yards away.
The new Statue of Liberty Museum opens on May 16.