A visit to Lady Liberty

by Kelly, Services Manager

Everyone knows that New York City is full of history, landmarks, and cultural experiences.  However, as many New Yorkers will attest, those of us who live here don’t get the opportunity to take the time to visit these wonderful sights nearly as often as we’d like to.  A great “excuse” for us to take the time is when out of town friends stop by the city for a visit.

I was lucky enough to have this “excuse” this past weekend when my best friend from college and her boyfriend travelled to my fair city from Chicago.  We planned a truly whirlwind weekend of typical “must-see” New York City activities, and had a wonderful time.

Our second day of activities was my favorite day.  We began the day with a trip on the Statue Cruises ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands to visit the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.  I’m a bit ashamed to admit, as a transplant to New York City, I have lived here for almost 10 years now, and this was my first trip to these amazing landmarks.

My friends and I were lucky enough to have access to the pedestal on which Lady Liberty stands.  We opted to climb the numerous stairs (around 200 steps!) to the top of the pedestal, and got the opportunity to see inside the structure of the statue itself when we reached the top of the pedestal’s access.  Did you know that the statue is anchored by two massive crossbeams inside the pedestal?  These crossbeams are attached to 16 tension rods nearly 50 feet in length, which are secured by enormous nuts and bolts.  These tension rods act like metal “rubber bands” and pull the statue and her iron skeleton down onto the pedestal, which is what prevents her from collapsing.  My other favorite fact that I learned during my trip to the statue is that Lady Liberty’s green color is the result of natural weathering of her exterior copper covering – which is only 3/32 of an inch thick – less than the thickness of two pennies!

After saying goodbye to Lady Liberty, we took the ferry to Ellis Island and visited the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.  From 1892 to 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island.  My great-grandfather, Salvatore D’acquisto, was one of them.  At the Immigration Museum, I had the opportunity to look his record up in the Museum’s extensive archives.  Through the archives, I learned that Salvatore landed at Ellis Island on August 18, 1923, on the ship the Dante Alighieri from Palermo, Sicily.  The archives even confirmed that Salvatore moved on from Ellis Island to settle in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where my family is still located!

As a proud New Yorker, a travel professional, and the newest member of the New York Guest staff, I am very lucky to get the opportunity to experience all of the best that New York City has to offer…and also assist you in having the same opportunities!  I look forward to sharing my experiences and helping you to build your own experiences in the future.  I am an expert on all things Broadway, and well versed in group travel among other things.  Please contact me at kshoemaker@newyorkguest.com if you have any questions.


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Filed under New York Sightseeing, New York Stories, NYC with Kids

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