Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right 11 vintage photos of the construction of the Statue of Liberty

11 vintage photos of the construction of the Statue of Liberty

Our favorite New York statue is the city's most enduring icon, and these photos will have you falling in love with her all over again

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Countless stories have been told of immigrants making their way across the Atlantic, and the first sight they see of New York in the fog is the light of our Lady Liberty. The neoclassical sculpture, a gift from the French created over an 11-year period, has become a worldwide phenomenon and one of the best New York attractions. Originally boasting shimmering copper skin, a green patina (naturally occurring in copper that's been exposed to air after a long time) has transformed her into the iconic emerald beauty she is today. Enjoy these historic—and in many cases, surreal—photos of the construction of the Statue of Liberty, dating from 1876.

Photograph: Courtesy Library of Congress

Workmen constructing the Statue of Liberty in Bartholdi's Parisian warehouse workshop

1876-1882, The hand and torch were placed in Madison Square Park to generate donations in order to complete the construction of the pedestal.
Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

From 1876 to 1882, the hand and torch were placed in Madison Square Park to generate donations in order to complete the construction of the pedestal

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Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

It's said the Statue of Liberty's feet were modeled on the "Greek foot" (where the big toe is shorter than the second toe). The French thought it was a sign of intelligence and royalty.

Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

Scaffolding arrives for the assemblage of the Statue of Liberty

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Photograph: Courtesy Library of Congress

The head of Lady Liberty on display in a park during the 1878 World's Fair in Paris

Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

Construction of the skeleton and plaster surface of the left arm and hand of the statue

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Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

People hard at work on the construction of the Statue of Liberty

Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

The workshop, with not-to-scale models of the Statue of Liberty in the background

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Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

Shaping sheets for the statue's famous copper exterior

Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

The external area of the Paris workshop, showing construction materials, the head of the Statue of Liberty, and a large crowd gathered in front of the Lady's left foot

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Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

Unpacking the head of the Statue of Liberty, delivered to the U.S. June 17, 1885

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