The sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi at the foot of the statue, which was temporarily erected in Paris.
Chapter 1: The Idea
It was in the months following the end of the American Civil War that Édouard Laboulaye, an ardent admirer of the United States, proposed the idea for a statue.
Chapter 2: A Champion of Liberty
“One is never cured of a yearning for freedom,” wrote Édouard Laboulaye.
Chapter 3: Bonds of Friendship
The Marquis de Lafayette, a hero of the American War for Independence, became a “connecting link” between the French and American people.
Chapter 4: The French Sculptor
The sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, whose dedication turned the dream of a statue into a reality.
Chapter 5: Bartholdi’s Tour of America and the American Architect
Richard Morris Hunt, designer of the pedestal for the statue, was known among architects as the learned “dean of the profession.”
Chapter 6: Washington, D.C., as a National Symbol
Liberty has always been a favored theme in the United States, as shown here in “Liberty and the Eagle” at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Chapter 7: Bartholdi’s Design
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s 4-foot-high model, the basis for the record-breaking 151-foot-tall statue.
Chapter 8: The Statue Takes Shape
Refining her left hand at full scale.
Chapter 9: The American Committee and the French Engineers
Gustave Eiffel was responsible for the design of a freestanding truss tower of unprecedented height to support the statue.
Chapter 10: Hunt Designs a Pedestal
The pedestal features a porch, or “loggia.” Could it recall the porch where George Washington was inaugurated the nation’s first president, and his inaugural address, in which he referred to the “sacred fire of liberty . . . entrusted to the hands of the American people”?
Chapter 11: Fundraising and a Visionary Sonnet
As preparations for the statue continued at Bedloe’s Island, the statue was officially presented to the United States in Paris on July 4, 1884.
Chapter 12: The Unveiling
Twenty one years after Édouard Laboulaye first suggested a monument to liberty, Liberty Enlightening the World was unveiled in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886.