Construction on the new 26,000 square foot Statue of Liberty Museum, located on the western side of Liberty Island, topped off in December 2017. Already ahead of schedule, it is set to open to the public in May 2019. The $70 million project, designed by FXCollaborative and ESI Design and built by Phelps Construction Group, features a steel structural frame, a new elevated concrete foundation, and a green roof. All of this comes as part of the new design that was revealed in October 2016 by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the United States Department of the Interior.
The new expansive museum is needed to serve the growing number of tourists visiting the island and the current Statue of Liberty Museum located at the base of Lady Liberty. The new museum will be fully accessible to tourists using any ticket purchased to visit Liberty Island.
Walking west behind Lady Liberty towards Flagpole Plaza, the museum’s architectural language visually opens itself to incoming tourists by connecting the plaza with additional steps to the sloped green roof, angled inwards on itself to form the ceiling of the entire museum. The green roof also becomes an extension of the park and the land itself, offering new views of the city and new green space dedicated to the native vegetation on Liberty Island.
Entering the interior space, a large walk-through and immersive theater will first greet visitors as they pass the new gallery space, featuring models and other artifacts from the construction and restoration of Lady Liberty in the mid 1980’s. They will be presented in the permanent collection along with educational programs for children and tourists as part of the Engagement Gallery.
A separate wing within the museum will house the original torch of Lady Liberty, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass panels on the northern section of the site. The old torch will be positioned to face Lady Liberty and the view of the Manhattan skyline in the background. Additional rooms include a bookstore and administration offices.