Public Comment Period Open On
Proposed Statue of Liberty Museum
NEW YORK – The National Park Service is gathering public comments on a proposal to construct a new 20,000 square foot museum on Liberty Island. The proposed museum would be located in the northwest portion of the island adjacent to the Administration Building and would be built in cooperation with the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation. A proposed temporary construction pier would also be constructed on the northern side of the island to facilitate the movement of construction materials to and from the island. Upon completing construction of the museum, the pier would be dismantled and removed.
The purpose of the museum construction project is to move the existing Statue of Liberty museum out of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal and into a new facility on the island. Recent life-safety upgrades at the Statue of Liberty have led to revised occupancy levels inside the monument.
Currently, only about 20 percent of visitors to Liberty Island can explore the museum inside the Statue of Liberty and are required to reserve tickets in advance. The remaining visitors to the island are “grounds only.” While free audio tours add to their experience, there is limited space for visitors to sit or take shelter in foul weather. The new museum would provide a richer interpretive experience that would be available to all visitors, and provide indoor space for visitors during inclement weather.
The new museum would be designed and sited to (a) respect of The Secretary of the Interiors’ Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, (b) be consistent with the siting of previously approved new construction on the northern end of Liberty Island, (c) defer to the Statue, historic buildings, and the landscape elements determined by the National Park Service to be contributing features, and (d) be in accord with preservation planning documents issued for Liberty Island.
Information about the proposal, including concept design renderings, is available on the project website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=53236
Comments will be taken throughout a 30-day public scoping period. During the scoping period, the public is invited to identify any issues or concerns they might have with the proposed project so that the National Park Service can consider them in preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments related to historic properties will also be gathered for the purposes of compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 is the process by which federal agencies take into account the effect of undertakings upon historic resources in or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=53236 no later than December 9, 2015.
About Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island
“The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and designated as a National Monument in 1924.