NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A topping off ceremony was held for a new museum alongside the Statue of Liberty.

With an American flag and a small Christmas tree attached, the final steel beam was hoisted into place for the new museum.

“We’re erecting this museum because so many of the people that come to the statue now can’t get inside the statue,” said Stephen Briganti, who heads the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation. “We’ve intended it to be a history lesson. We’ve intended it to be a lesson about American culture and American liberty.”

The 26,000-square foot building will house exhibits, a theater and the original torch.

It is scheduled to open in 2019.

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE