The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic structures in the United States. The statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of United States. It is a huge statue which symbolizes liberty and freedom, ideals on which the United States was founded.
The planning, design and construction phases of the statue took a considerable time, especially because most of the work was done in France. Donor drives in both France and United States ultimately funded the project.
When designing the Statue of Liberty, the noted sculptor Bartholdi decided to make use of sheet copper for the exterior. This was decided for many reasons – sheet copper cost less compared to some other mainstream metals, and it was easy to mould. It also weighed less and would have made it easier to ship the statue to US upon completion. In all, around 300 copper plates were used for the exterior.
To support the sheet copper exterior, Eiffel of the Eiffel Tower fame, created an iron framework. The iron framework comprises of four wrought-iron posts to which the general frame of the iron rods is attached. An excellent feature of this iron frame is that it allows for the expansion of copper due to temperature changes, without incurring any permanent damage.
When the Statue of Liberty was in the planning phase, it was decided that the French would construct the statue itself, lead by Bartholdi. The pedestal, however, would be provided by the United States. Richard Morris Hunt was commissioned to construct the pedestal.
He made use of Doric architectural elements as well as Aztec features in constructing the pedestal. The materials used in the construction of the pedestal included poured concrete for the walls and granite blocks for the finish. The pedestal rises in the form of a truncated pyramid, with the base square dimensions at 62 feet and the top square dimensions at around 40 feet.
The Statue of Liberty stands 46 meters tall. Together with the pedestal on which it stands, the statue has a height of 93 meters. When measured from the heel of the foot to the top of the head, the statue measures 34 meters. The hand of the statue alone has a height of 5 meters.
One of the iconic features of the statue is the tablet which it holds, signifying law and civilization. This tablet has a length of 7.19 meters and a width of 4.14 meters. The total weight of the Statue of Liberty is around 204 tonnes. The copper used in the statue weighs at around 27 tonnes while around 113 tonnes of steel is used for the frame.
Two notable features of the statue include the crown at her head and the chains at her feet. The crown features seven rays and has 25 windows. The chains lay broken at the feet of the statue and are hidden by her robe.