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Statue of Liberty National Monument
In New York Harbor and off Jersey City shoreline
The 152-foot copper statue bearing the torch of freedom was a gift from the French people to the United States in 1886 to commemorate the alliance of the two nations during the American Revolution. Designed by Frederic Bartholdi, the statue symbolized freedom for the nearly 12 million immigrants who arrived at nearby Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. The main building on Ellis Island is now a museum dedicated to the history of immigration. The statue was proclaimed a national monument in 1924, transferred to the Park Service in 1933, and designated a World Heritage Site in 1984. Ellis Island was incorporated into the national monument in 1965.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Taking ferry to Liberty and Ellis islands, touring museums, watching Ellis Island documentary. Facilities: Statue, Ellis Island Main Building, museums, Ellis Island library and oral-history collection. Programs & Events: Ranger-led tours (when staffing permits at Ellis and Liberty Islands). Tips & Hints: You may have to wait in line an hour or more for the ferry to the islands. Drink plenty of fluids in summer. Dress warmly in winter. Arrive early for shorter lines. The statue interior was closed on September 11, 2001, after the attacks on the World Trade Center. In late 2003, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. announced plans to reopen the statue after improving security there. At this writing, a date for the reopening has not been set. Busiest July and Aug., least crowded Jan. and Feb.
Restaurants: In the park: cafeterias on Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
FEES & HOURS
Free. Round-trip ferry fee (includes both islands): $10 adults, $8 ages 62 and over, $8 ages 3-12, free age 2 and under. Monument open Sept.-May, daily 9-5:30; Memorial Day-Aug., weekdays 8:30-6:15, weekends 8:30-8:30.
HOW TO GET THERE
Islands accessible by ferry only. Ferries (tel. 212/269-5755) leave Battery Park in lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. Closest airports: JFK and LaGuardia (New York); Newark (New Jersey).
Statue of Liberty National Monument (Liberty Island, New York, NY 10004, tel. 212/363-3200, fax 212/363-8347).
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. (292 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017-7769, tel. 212/561-4500).
Statue of Liberty National Monument. Detailed information how to get there, where to stay and what rates in the Statue of Liberty National Monument In New York Harbor and off Jersey City shoreline