If you’ve been waiting to visit the crown of the Statue of Liberty, the end of your wait is nearly in sight.
The National Park Service closed the Statue of Liberty in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, other parts of the monument have reopened, but the relatively small, enclosed crown has remained closed.
That is, until earlier this week.
While the National Park Service planned to hold a “soft” reopening of the crown later this month without much fanfare, word of the reopening and subsequent excitement grew quickly, Jerry Willis, a spokesperson for the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, said, according to CNN.
“People really were excited about the news,” Willis said.
The plan for reopening, Willis explained, was to first wait for city, state, and federal pandemic restrictions to be lifted. After that, the plan called for hiring staff and teaching them about crown-specific safety and security protocols by having experienced tour guides train them.
Instead, as word of the reopening spread and demand for tickets escalated, the plan had to be expedited.
“We had to hire people and get them up to speed to effectively run crown operations,” Willis said.
Where The Statue Came From
You may recall that the Statue of Liberty — or as it is formally known, The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World — was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States. Recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty was created by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, dedicated on October 28, 1886, and designated as a National Monument in 1924, the National Park Service explains.
Interestingly, the 305-feet tall statue stands on a piece of land that was formerly called Bedloe’s Island. The island was renamed Liberty Island by a joint resolution in Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Part of New York State, Liberty Island is an exclave of the New York City borough of Manhattan.
Visiting The Crown
“Visiting the crown of the Statue of Liberty is one of the most rewarding experiences of any trip to New York City,” the National Park Service explains. “Visitors get to enjoy views from the small platform in the statue’s head which is roughly 20 stories high.”
On the other hand, it must be pointed out that the statue’s crown can only be accessed by climbing 162 stairs — and that’s after visitors reach the statue’s pedestal. That effort alone requires climbing 215 stairs or approximately 10 stories, the National Park Service says. There is no elevator to the crown.
“The climb is strenuous and not without risk,” the National Park Service cautions.
For that reason, it recommends that visitors who want to reach the crown should not have “significant physical or mental conditions which would impair their ability to complete the climb, such as (but not limited to) heart conditions, respiratory conditions, mobility impairment, claustrophobia, fear of heights, or vertigo (dizziness).” You can learn more about visiting the crown of the Statue of Liberty here. You can also learn what climbing to the crown is like here.
Know Before You Go
You can learn about fees and passes to visit the Statue of Liberty, including climbing to the crown, here.
If you’re planning a trip, you’ll also need to keep a special warning from the National Park Service in mind.
“There are many aggressive, unauthorized ticket sellers who will try to sell tickets to the Statue of Liberty near Battery Park in New York City.” the National Park Service cautions. “These individuals will often try to scam people through misrepresentation and over-charging.”
Statue City Cruises is the only National Park Service-authorized ferry service, and the only on-site location to purchase authorized tickets is at the Statue City Cruises official ticket office inside Castle Clinton in Battery Park. However, tickets typically sell out months in advance to visit the crown.
Instead, a better option for planning to visit the Statue of Liberty is to reserve tickets with Statue City Cruises in advance. You can learn how to do that here.
Finally, if you can’t make the trip in person, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, in collaboration with the National Park Service and EarthCam, offers four unique perspectives from the Statue of Liberty, along with stunning views of Liberty Island.
For example, a view from the Statue of Liberty’s torch lets viewers examine her crown, tablet, and robes — as well as see visitors walking more than 300 feet below. You can see the webcam here.
For more about the Statue of Liberty and New York, be sure to read all of our New York content, including: