Statue of Liberty Crown Set to Reopen on Fourth of July

July 3, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The observation deck in the crown of New York City’s iconic Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public on July 4th, for the first time since it was closed following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The National Park Service closed the attraction amid worries that it would be difficult for visitors to evacuate quickly in the event of an emergency.

The statue itself was reopened in 2004, but visitors were only allowed into the pedestal at the base of the statue, which is not the main draw for tourists.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the reopening at a press conference on nearby Ellis Island in May.  “On July 4, we are giving America a special gift,” Salazar said.  On Saturday, 30 visitors will be chosen every hour by lottery, though carefully screened and escorted by a park ranger, and allowed to climb the double-helix spiral 168 step staircase to the crown. Moving forward, crown reservations must be made up to a year in advance through the Statue Cruises Website at www.statuecruises.com or by phone at 877- LADY-TIX (877-523-9849).  The Statue of Liberty will be open for the next two years, then closed again for “work on a long-term solution that will improve safety and security permanently,” according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Artist Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue called Liberty Enlightening the World. It was given as a gift from the people of France to the US in 1886 to celebrate its centennial. It was designated a National Monument in 1924, and a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984.

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