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Statue of Liberty's 'invisible' museum breaks ground on US$70m development

Officials have broken ground a new US$70m museum dedicated to the Statue of Liberty on the monument’s home of Liberty Island.

Designed by Nicholas Garrison, principal for FXFOWLE, the 26,000sq ft museum is a key part of the beautification plan for Liberty Island, with the building blending into its surroundings, seemingly rising out of the ground with its grass roof.

The museum was designed in such a way so as the design would not compete with the statue, and was not the first thing to come into view as visitors disembark the ferry to the island. Its angular shape is inspired by the water’s edge, with the building leading out to the rooftop, which is designed as a habitat for migratory birds with its planted wildflowers.

Three galleries make up the interior of the museum, which features exposed steel structures, with controlled low lighting. Exhibitions will include a large mural of 50 star sculptures evocative of the American flag, as well as a virtual flyover of the statue’s interior and exhibits telling its story. The museum experience ends with the Inspiration Gallery, which displays the original torch, restored in 1986 after sitting atop the statue for almost a century.

Experience design firm ESI Design will create interactive displays for the exhibition. Phelps Construction Group have been named project engineers by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

"From the start, the design of the Statue of Liberty Museum was conceived as an extension of the park," said Nicholas Garrison. "The goal was to engage with the park's formal, axial plan and respond to its spectacular setting. The island’s landscape is lifted and merged with the architecture to create space for the museum in a new geology. The building's angular forms and spaces are shaped by its views and the irregularity of the water’s edge, celebrating liberty."

The museum is expected to see as many as 4.3 million visitors annually - the amount of people that visit Liberty Island each year. Slated to open in 2019, famed fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is leading the the fundraising effort for the development, which has so far raised US$40m of the US$70m total.

“The Statue of Liberty is not just one of the most recognisable monuments in the world, but an international symbol of hope that deserves to have her story shared with everyone who visits Liberty Island,” said Statue of Liberty?Ellis Island Foundation president and CEO Stephen Briganti. “We are so honored to have Diane von Furstenberg, who was so inspired by the Statue herself when she first arrived in America, leading the fundraising campaign for the new museum.”

"Lady Liberty is the symbol of everything America is about: freedom, hope, possibility and resilience,” added von Furstenberg. “It is She that millions of immigrants saw first as they arrived in this country, their hearts full of dreams for a brighter future. Now it is my hope that the Statue of Liberty and her incredible story will live on and on, inspiring generations for years to come.”

Statue of Liberty Museum  New York  museum  Statue of Liberty  Liberty Island 
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Officials have broken ground a new US$70m museum dedicated to the Statue of Liberty on the monument’s home of Liberty Island. Designed by Nicholas Garrison, principal for FXFOWLE, the 26,000sq ft museum is a key part of the beautification plan for Liberty Island, with the building blending into its surroundings, seemingly rising out of the ground with its grass roof. The museum was designed in such a way so as
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The building's angular forms and spaces are shaped by its views and the irregularity of the water’s edge
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