Page B1.1 . 13 December 2000                     
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  • Restoring Lady Liberty
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    Restoring Lady Liberty

    by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects

    The Statue of Liberty, created by French sculptor August Bartholdi and architect/engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, was completed in 1886. While its restoration was monumental in terms of size, complexity, and visibility, the technical, design, access/egress, and deadline issues are similar—if on a larger scale—to those on many historic building projects.

    These are some of the challenges faced by the restoration team:

  • The project was supported by private funding, but was under the aegis of a government agency.

  • It initially involved consultants from two countries and at least two approaches to the restoration/preservation debate.

  • Extensive research was required, along with an army of technicians and experts.

  • The project had a strict deadline—completion by July 4, 1986.

    Other challenges included egress and access to a site on a small island in a busy harbor, and a sculpture that stood 305 feet high. The project was carried out entirely in the public eye, reviewed by a committee led by the Architect of the Capitol, and subject to public presentations at key milestones.

    This article is excerpted from Historic Preservation: Project Planning & Estimating, with permission of the publisher, R.S. Means Company, Inc.



  • ArchWeek Photo

    The Statue of Liberty.
    Photo: Howard R. Katz

    ArchWeek Photo

    Construction drawing for rehabilitation of the Statue's head.
    Image: Swanke Hayden Connell Architects


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

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