LIBERTY ISLAND, N.Y. (WHTM) — The Statue of Liberty has been closed to the public many different times, for many different reasons. It closed in the 1980s for extensive, top to bottom renovations, ahead of the 100th anniversary of its dedication on Oct. 28, 1886. (It reopened o the public on July 4, 1986.)
It closed in 2011 on Oct. 29th, the day after its 125th-anniversary celebration, for a year-long renovation. It reopened on October 28, 2012-and the very next day Hurricane Sandy flooded 75 percent of the island, forcing another closure to clean up and repair the damage. (It reopened on July 4, 2013, even though repairs were still going on.)
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But the most traumatic closure came on September 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center was destroyed. The first ferry to the statue of the day was already en route when the attack happened. It returned to dock, and there would be no visitors to Liberty Island for over two months. The island would reopen on December 1st, but the inside of the statue stayed closed.
Not until August 3, 2004, did the monument reopen after metal detectors were installed to screen visitors boarding the ferry, as well as surveillance cameras and bomb detectors on the island. Only the pedestal opened that day-the statue itself remained closed.
The pedestal contained a museum telling the story of the statue, from its 1886 dedication through the 1980s renovations. Visitors could also go to the observation deck at the top of the pedestal, which offers a view from a height of 16 stories. The Statue’s crown would reopen to the public on July 4, 2009. (The crown is now closed again due to Covid, but will be opened sometime in the future.)
A new Statue of Liberty Museum opened on the island in 2019.