NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News) — Wednesday marked 130 years since the Statue of Liberty arrived in pieces on American shores.
The Statue of Liberty has welcomed generations of immigrants to the country as a beacon of the new world, and has been a landmark of the nation and the jewel of New York Harbor for the entire lifetimes of all living today.
But the Statue of Liberty was actually created in France, and came to the country in pieces, CBS News recalled.
Designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who called her Liberty Enlightening the World, she was intended to be a gift to the United States on the centennial of the American Revolution and as a measure of goodwill between America and the French, CBS News reported.
“I will try to glorify the Republic and Liberty over there, in the hope that someday I will find it again here,” said Bartholdi, to his associate Edouard de Laboulaye, who initially inspired the idea of the statue at a time of dissent against the regime of Napoleon III.
Construction of the statue began in 1884 in France. The following year, the statue was taken apart and 350 pieces of her were shipped to America in 200 crates — finally arriving in New York onboard the French frigate Isère on June 17.
Construction of the pedestal had already begun two years earlier on Bedloe’s Island – now known as Liberty Island, CBS News reported. The base of the statue had begun as the walls of Fort Wood, which operated on the island earlier in the 19th century.
After a period of storage, workers spent four months putting together the copper and iron statue and attaching her to the pedestal.
The statue was dedicated October 28, 1886. “We will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected,” said President Grover Cleveland on the day Lady Liberty was dedicated.
Bartholdi died in 1904. The Statue of Liberty was declared a national monument in 1924, and underwent a full-scale renovation for her centennial between 1984 and 1986.