The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Thu August 11, 2011

Statue Of Liberty To Close For More Renovations

Just two years after the crown of the Statue of Liberty was reopened to visitors, the entire monument will be shut down for a year to conduct more renovations, the National Park Service says.

The closure will begin the day after the statue's 125th anniversary is celebrated on Oct. 28.

But it seems that tourists won't really miss the statue's interior that much: as The New York Times reports, only 30 percent of the folks who take the ferry out to Liberty Island to visit the statue bother to climb the stairs inside. And since the work will place inside the structure, the island park will remain open to visitors.

The closure will allow contractors to update the stairwells, add new fire suppression systems and elevators, "and rehabilitate restrooms," the park service says.

Reporting for Newscast, Margot Adler says, "Current fire codes mandate that the statue be evacuated within two hours if necessary, but the current staircases on either side of the pedestal don't meet these standards."

Money for the $27.25 million worth of renovations is coming from National Park Service appropriations and the park Concession Franchise Fee program, according to the National Park Service.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the statue closed for three years, as it received a $20 million security upgrade.

Anyone who wants to check out the statue, but can't make it to New York, can visit Lady Liberty virtually, in an "e-tour" on the Park Service site.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.