Statue of Liberty Museum tops off construction ahead of 2019 opening

Posted On Tue, December 5, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, December 5, 2017 By In Architecture, Design, Landscape Architecture

Yesterday morning construction topped off at the Statue of Liberty Museum, a brand new $70 million building on Liberty Island designed by FXFOWLE and ESI Design. Project designs were released last fall; soon after the project was approved. Construction has been moving along steadily ever since, and today marked a milestone before the 2019 opening. Diane von Furstenberg, who is still working to raise money for the museum, and Stephen Briganti, president of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, signed their names on the beam symbolically hoisted to the top of the structure. Once it opens, the 26,000-square-foot space will hold an immersive theater and gallery that showcases the Statue of Liberty’s original torch, framing stunning views of New York’s most iconic monument.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

Diane von Furstenburg joined the board of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation last summer and agreed to assist with fundraising $100 million, which reps say is nearly complete. She and Briganti invited the rest of the foundation, alongside the design and construction teams, to sign the final structural beam before it was raised into place.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

The angular-shaped, 26,000-square-foot building will be constructed of glass, granite, and concrete–materials inspired by the waterfront location. It’ll sit across the circular plaza that fronts the Statue.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

Once inside, visitors will wind through an immersive theater that will show a short seven-minute video. The video will chronicle how and why Lady Liberty was created, and also tell the story of the construction via a “flythrough” video of the statue. Next, an engagement gallery will delve deeper into the statue’s creation and meaning, analyzing what led Americans to embrace it. Finally, there will be an inspiration gallery, where visitors can reflect on what liberty means to them. Visitors will have the option to contribute their own portrait to a “Becoming Liberty” panoramic media display.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

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

The galleries will flow to a separate wing that holds Lady Liberty’s original torch. (It is now located within the statue’s pedestal and is expected to move in October of 2018.) The torch will be placed toward the front of the museum facing the front plaza, with a backdrop of the statue through the glass walls.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,

The sides of the museum are lined in concrete.

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,Rendering by FXFOWLE

statue of liberty, statue of liberty museum,Rendering by FXFOWLE

The building’s green roof, which includes hardscaping and meadow grasses, is meant to serve as an extension of the surrounding park.

Rendering by ESI Design

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

Access to the museum will be free with the purchase of your ferry ticket. The increased capacity will allow for 1,000 visitors per hour. As it stands, only about 20 percent of the 4.3 million annual visitors can access the existing museum, located inside the pedestal.

This initiative is the work of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (SLEIF), National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior, and those representatives hailed the topping off event as progress toward a 2019 museum opening. Fabrication of the exhibits will begin early next year, with the installations starting up next fall. The facade should come up by next March. For a few more renderings of the finished space, check out the gallery below.

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All construction and topping-off ceremony photos via Emily Nonko for 6sqft; renderings via FXFOWLE and ESI Design

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