New York

Statue of Liberty Upgraded in Time For Birthday

The Statue of Liberty reopened on Oct. 28 with a celebration of its 126th birthday and the substantial completion of a one-year, $30-million upgrade to meet current life-safety codes. The majority of the renovation work was in the 145-ft granite pedestal that Lady Liberty stands on, with further work on the rails and protective glass on the stairs leading up to the crown.

The project team is putting the finishing touches on a few elements, including commissioning of the new HVAC system and on the terreplein stairs leading to the ground level, all of which it expects to finish by year-end, says Paul Natoli, president and CEO of contractor Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corp., Pine Brook, N.J.

Work on the national monument, located on a 12-acre island in New York Harbor, was funded with $25 million in congressional appropriations and other funds.

The project included adding two pedestal exits; widening the pedestal stairs; replacing the pedestal elevator and the statue's emergency elevator; and improving restrooms, mechanical and electrical systems. The new lifts make the observation deck wheelchair accessible for the first time.