English 52

Building Lady Liberty

The construction of the Statue of Liberty was originally envisioned by him while Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the architect,1 was visiting Egypt. That is where he saw the construction of Suez Canal and inspired2 to build a colossal statue. Little did he know that it would be the Statue of Liberty, the very same landmark that will have soon been3 recognized as one of the most important symbols of the United States.

For this project, he sought the assistance of Gustave Eiffel, the French engineer who had designed the famously renowned4 Eiffel Tower. The construction of the skeletal framework was accomplished by Eiffel, who used gridirons to provide the statues’5 shape. Maurice Koechlin, Eiffel’s trusted secretary, also helped finish the intricate details and eventually,6 both men determined the dimensions and materials to build the necessary7 statue.

Just like any other monumental project, there were delays to the Statue of Liberty’s construction. Bartholdi had originally planned to present the statue in 1876, however,8 when part of it was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Bartholdi was given the chance to raise money to create a pedestal for his statue. Not until ten years later was the pedestal for the statue finally finished. [9]

Once construction in10 the Statue of Liberty had been completed in France, the statue was dismantled and placed into separate crates for being11 transported to the United States. Lady Liberty finally arrived in the harbor of New York, and was successfully reassembled. The construction was finally12 finished in July 1886 and with13 the cornerstone laid on the fifth of August of the same year. “The New Colossus,” a poem by Emma Lazarus, was inscribed on its base. [14]

Finally, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated as a gift from France to the American people by President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886. It was ten years overdue.15