Skip to comments.Statue of Liberty's Crown to Stay Closed
Posted on 08/09/2006 5:16:12 PM PDT by wjersey
Tourists won't be climbing back up to the Statue of Liberty's crown. That's the word from the National Park Service to lawmakers, some of whom have been fighting to reopen the crown following the 2001 terror attacks.
The crown has been closed out of concerns that fire and terrorism hazards for the cramped spiral staircase could not be overcome.
"For the better part of three years now, they've been dancing around this issue," said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who has sought to force the National Park Service to reopen the crown.
"This is the first time they've said they're not moving forward, they're essentially done looking at it," said Weiner. He called the decision "the final victory of the terrorists on Sept. 11."
In a letter to Weiner dated Aug. 4, outgoing Park Service Director Fran Mainella wrote that "the current access patterns reflect a responsible management strategy in the best interests of all our visitors."
Another congressman, who oversees the House subcommittee on national parks, said he may hold hearings to re-examine the issue and the agency's decision.
"While I respect the Park Service's justified concern for public safety, I am disappointed with their apparent decision to stop trying," said Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M. "Americans have a right to hear something better from their National Park Service than the implied message of this letter, which is 'never.'"
Mainella said that even before 2001, the park service had been re- evaluating public safety at the statue, particularly concerns about fire safety on the 168-step ascent from the base to the crown. She said the crown was originally designed for maintenance workers, not the public.
The statue, which sits on 12-acre Liberty Island in New York Harbor, was shut down after Sept. 11, 2001. After spending $20 million on security and safety improvements, the government reopened the statue in 2004, but only up to the top of the pedestal, or Lady Liberty's toes.
The new security measures included a bomb detection device that blows air into clothing and then checks for particles of explosives residue. Bomb-sniffing dogs also have been seen at the site.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 and was designated a national monument in 1924. It was restored for its centennial on July 4, 1986. Its torch has been closed since 1916.
Hmmm. Lotsa logic there. /s
I wanna go to the torch!
I've climbed it twice. First in 1975; second in 1987, so I saw it both prior to and after the restoration in the mid 1980's.
I feel pretty lucky to have climbed tthe Statue many times, all pre 9/11.
No view from the crown, but to climb inside the structure is amazing.
Cryptome's eyeballing of the Statue of Liberty
And we were disappointed because we couldn't go up to the
torch, that was in 58 or so, it was not very large even
in the head.
The torch would have been awesome but now it would have to
be totally inclosed, and you would have to wear a parachute
I'm 59, and visited the Statue of Liberty with my parents when I was about 9. I hated heights then and can't stand them now either. When I got on those worn metal spiral stairs, I started shaking terribly and had to take one of the exits to get off of them. My brother and father went all the way to the top. I found that I was satisfied with the view from the pedestal. Since I haven't been there in about 50 years, I have no idea if the inside of the Statue has changed any.
I'm not sure what right some bureaucrat has to put America's landmarks off limits. They don't belong to him, but to The People. And how realistic is concern over a fire in the Statue of Liberty? Fires break out in Yellowstone every year. Does some desk jockey at the Park Service have the authority to declare Old Faithful closed till further notice?
First time I have ever seen pictures of the inside. Looks cool and made me dizzy.
The Capitol Dome, The Statue of Liberty Crown, The steps at the Washington memorial all places once open to the public that are now forbidden to all except "Special People". Some Americans are more equal than others.
As a child my parents took me to the Statue. Then we could climb into the torch. They closed the torch, Now they have closed the crown. Soon they will close the Statue. Oh!! They already did that for a while didnt they. Well they will do it again.
I have walked up and down the Wasshington Monument many times. then as I got older I just walked down. Now I no one can walk it either way. Its a shame too because there are many markers and stones with engraving no longer allowed to be seen.
You are allowed in the Capitol Dome if your Senator or Congressman will personally take you there. I dont see that happening for too many of us.
Bravo Sierra. They couldn't be overcome for the WTC either.