How Much Did the Statue of Liberty Cost to Build?

The cost of the Statue of Liberty was $800,000. Converting the amount in today’s dollars, that would be about $75 million.

Origin and Development

It was during the 1870s when the French came up with the idea for the statue. Their ally the United States was commemorating its centennial. With the help of the designer and engineer Auguste Bartholdi, planning for the structure commenced in early 1874.

The project began with the development of its skeletal frame. This part of the work was conducted under the watch of Gustave Eiffel, creator of the Eiffel Tower.

The Construction Phase

The cost of the Statue of Liberty was growing even during the early stages. The reason was that several small models were designed and created. One small figure remains to this day and is in Paris. The final look was drawn from a variety of sources, mainly mythological sun deities.

The target date for completion was 1876. This proved to be impossible as the task was complex. But some parts were finished, and they were taken to the United States and exhibited in Philadelphia.

Funding

By the time the head was finished, the expenses were running high. To help pay for the cost of the Statue of Liberty, the head was exhibited at the Paris Exposition in 1878. The money earned from the show in Philadelphia helped with the funding.

The show in Paris meanwhile, raised public consciousness over the statue. Prodded along by several newspaper editorials, wealthy Americans started donating money to help finance it. After some consultation it was decreed that the statue would be placed at New York harbor.

Completion

In 1884, the whole statue was finally completed. The following year in 1885, the parts were boarded onto a ship and sailed for New York. Part of the cost of the Statue of Liberty, but not included in the total expenses, involved transport fees. Over 250 crates were used, containing well over 250 parts. This did not contain all the components. The arm with the torch was built in the United States.

On October 28, 1886, the dedication took place. It was presided over by US President Grover Cleveland. While it would become a landmark, it also had other uses. In its early history it was utilized as a lighthouse.

Eventually it would become the symbol of New York and also America itself. In 1966 it was deemed a historic site, and in 1984 became a World Heritage Site.

Facts and Figures

The statue is over 150 ft tall and weighs over 200 tons. The foundation itself is over 65 ft, and the right arm extends some 46 ft. The mouth is 3 ft wide and the nose is 4 ft long. The waist is 35 ft thick, the head is 17 ft high and from ear to ear it is 10 ft.

The $75 million cost of the Statue of Liberty will change according to currency fluctuations. But as every patriot knows, its true value is that it represents hope and freedom for the people.

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