September 13, 2015

Restoring Lady Liberty

"Liberty Enlightening the World," New York, Fall 1986.

In Gustave Eiffel's  innovative design, a central pylon with a secondary framework reaches out to the Statue of Liberty's copper skin.

The copper sheets are attached to iron ribs in such a way that the skin is still free to shift slightly. Because of corrosion, the original ribs had to be replaced during the 1984-86 restoration of the Statue of Liberty with new stainless steel bars that were shaped to match the contours of the old bars.

The lighting scheme created for the refurbished Statue of Liberty was designed to capture the quality of natural daylight. In 2015, an LED-based lighting system was introduced.

The Statue of Liberty's original torch and flame, now on display in the Liberty Island museum, had to be replaced during the restoration because of extensive corrosion damage. Holes cut into the copper flame allowed moisture to leak into the statue's arm.

The Statue of Liberty at sunset, Fall 1986.

Photos by I. Peterson

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