20 Facts About the Statue of Liberty

There are seven spikes in the Statue of Liberty's crown.
There are seven spikes in the Statue of Liberty's crown.
©NYC & Company

Since it was dedi­cated in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has stood as a beacon for Americans -- the ones already living here and for thousands upon thousands of newly arriving immigrants.

­Check out the following pages to learn more about the history of the statue, the people who put it together, and some little known facts about this lady and her island.


The Interior

Although the pedestal and the museum are once again open to the public, the interior of the Statue remains closed. Legislation has been proposed to reopen the inside of the statue to the public, but until then visitors can view the interior framework through the pedestal's glass ceiling.


The View

Until September 11, 2001, the Statue of Liberty was open to the public and visitors were able to climb the winding staircase inside the statue to the top of her crown for a spectacular view of New York Harbor.


The Original Torch

The Statue of Liberty's original torch is now on display at the monument's museum.



The Statue of Liberty underwent a multimillion dollar renovation in the mid-1980s before being rededicated on July 4, 1986. During the renovation, Lady Liberty received a new torch because the old one was corroded beyond repair.


The Lighthouse

The statue functioned as an actual lighthouse from 1886 to 1902. There was an electric plant on the island to generate power for the light, which could be seen 24 miles away.


The Steps

There are 192 steps from the ground to the top of the pedestal and 354 steps from the pedestal to the crown.


The Sandals

Lady Liberty's sandals are 25 feet long, making her shoe size 879.


Eyes, Waist, and Weight

Lady Liberty's eyes are each 2 feet 6 inches across, she has a 35-foot waistline, and she weighs about 450,000 pounds (225 tons).


The Hands

The statue's hand is 16 feet 5 inches long and her index finger is 8 feet long. Her fingernails are 13 inches long by 10 inches wide and weigh approximately 3.5 pounds each.



Lady Liberty is 152 feet 2 inches tall from base to torch and 305 feet 1 inch tall from the ground to the tip of her torch.



Symbolizing freedom and the opportunity for a better life, the Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they sailed through New York Harbor on their way to nearby Ellis Island.



More than four million people visit the Statue of Liberty each year.


The Inscription

The inscription on the statue's tablet reads: July 4, 1776 (in Roman numerals).


Spikes and Windows

There are 25 windows and 7 spikes in Lady Liberty's crown. The spikes are said to symbolize the seven seas.


The Replica

A quarter-scale bronze replica of Lady Liberty was erected in Paris in 1889 as a gift from Americans living in the city. The statue stands about 35 feet high and is located on a small island in the River Seine, about a mile south of the Eiffel Tower.


The Model

The model for the face of the statue is reputed to be the sculptor's mother, Charlotte Bartholdi.



The statue was completed in Paris in June 1884, given to the American people on July 4, 1884, and reassembled and dedicated in the United States on October 28, 1886.



Lady Liberty was sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi; Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was the structural engineer.


Construction Begins

Construction of the statue began in France in 1875.


The Statue's Real Name

The statue's real name is "Liberty Enlightening the World."



Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen



The Taj Mahal Is Turning Green: The Struggle to Preserve Priceless Monuments

The Taj Mahal Is Turning Green: The Struggle to Preserve Priceless Monuments

HowStuffWorks looks at why the Taj Mahal is in such poor shape, why it's so hard to repair and how this problem happens in other places like Italy.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles