PHOTOS: See how the Statue of Liberty’s new museum is shaping up

Posted On Wed, October 17, 2018 By

Posted On Wed, October 17, 2018 By In Construction Update, Design, Features, Museums

With the construction of the new Statue of Liberty Museum in its final stages, 6sqft on Tuesday toured the 26,000-square-foot site and its landscaped rooftop. This is the first ground-up building overseen by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the nonprofit which has raised $100 million in private funds for the project. Designed by FXCollaborative with exhibits created by ESI Design, the angular-shaped museum will feature three immersive gallery spaces with one wing showcasing the Statue of Liberty’s original torch and the iconic monument framed behind it through floor-to-ceiling glass.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island
The front of the museum, where the original torch will be visible through 22-foot-high glass walls 

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,
Rendering via FXCollaborative

The National Park Service determined after 9/11 that the current infrastructure on Liberty Island could not safely hold the number of people who want to visit the monument. Currently, 5,000 people per day can get inside the existing museum, located inside the pedestal.

However, according to the NPS, on a busy weekend day in the summer, about 25,000 people travel to Liberty Island. The Foundation decided to build a new freestanding museum to increase capacity, which when it opens in May will allow for roughly 1,000 visitors per hour.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

Statue of Liberty Museum, FXFOWLE, Liberty Island, NYC museum design
Rendering via FXCollaborative

Nicholas Garrison, the project designer from FXCollaborative, said when he first arrived on the island, he noticed how small it was and how impactful any new building would be. Garrison said the firm drew inspiration for the site from a 1939 plan by the NPS to turn the island into a French formal garden. “Think of it as a garden pavilion with a museum tucked underneath it,” Garrison said.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

Statue of Liberty Museum, FXFOWLE, Liberty Island, NYC museum design
Rendering via FXCollaborative

The museum anchors the pedestrian circular mall that sits behind the Statue of Liberty. Granite steps lead from the plaza to the museum and can flood and drain in a storm. While the steps were always a part of the museum’s original design, they were raised six feet following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The building is able to withstand hurricane winds and set to 500-year flood levels. The museum is constructed of Stony Creek granite, bronze, and copper, inspired by the pedestal and the original design of the Statue.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island
The roof will be planted with native meadow grasses to create a natural habitat for local and migrating birds

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island

The landscaped roof features 360-degree water views and a prime spot to take selfies with Lady Liberty. The grass will eventually be two or three feet high and change seasonally.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,
Renderings via FXCollaborative

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,
Rendering via ESI Design

Upon entering the museum, visitors will be greeted with a panoramic display with the names of donors who helped fund the project. Similarly, when the statue’s pedestal needed construction in the 1880s, newspaper mogul Joseph Pulitzer promised to print people’s names in his newspaper in exchange for donations. The statue received support from more than 120,000 donors, contributing over $100,000, allowing the pedestal to be completed in 1886.

An immersive theater features digital projections with videos about the history of the New York Harbor and the monument, as well as drone fly-through footage of the statue. The museum is designed to move visitors from one room to the next, weaving seamlessly through the theater.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum, liberty island
The 22-foot-high walls are specially made and dotted so birds do not fly into the glass

In the inspiration gallery, Ed Schlossberg of ESI Design (left) and Nicholas Garrison of FXCollaborative (right) discuss the design behind the space

In the engagement gallery, visitors can view a series of multimedia displays which evoke the feeling of being in the warehouse of sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who built the Statue of Liberty. Through artifacts, graphics, and multimedia, the gallery follows the creation of the monument, from idea to construction, and its growth as an international symbol.

The third gallery allows guests to reflect on what they have learned and take a selfie surrounded by inspirational images they have selected. To show how liberty lives differently in individuals, the collages will be projected on the wall as part of the “Becoming Liberty” exhibit.

The original torch will be found in a separate wing facing the front of the museum in a sun-lit room, with the Statue of Liberty, NYC skyline, and the Harbor found behind it. The torch will move from the existing museum to the new space in the coming weeks.

Admission to the museum will be free with a purchase of a ferry ticket. As the museum prepares to open in May, follow its progression with a live construction feed found here.

RELATED: 

All photos taken by Kate Glicksberg exclusively for 6sqft. Photos are not to be reproduced without written permission from 6sqft.

Tags : , , ,

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.