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Film > Ghostbusters > Filming Locations > New York -- The Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty National Monument
Liberty Island
New York, NY 10004

* Google Maps aerial view

History - written by Chris Buchner (used with permission)
The Statue of Liberty was an American/French effort; America would build a pedestal while France would create the statue that would stand on it. That task fell upon sculptor Frederic Augustine Bartholdi. The envisioned project was that of a giant copper structure, and so Bartholdi enlisted the engineering aid of Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel designed the massive iron pylon and secondary skeletal structure for the statue's skin.

On both sides, money was an issue. Each country did their best to organize different fund raising events and charities, getting donations from where they could. In America, pedestal funding was coming at a lethargic pace. Joseph Pulitzer used his newspaper, The New York World, to help the effort by criticizing the rich for failing to contribute more and the middle class for relying on the rich. The bashing seemed to help give the fundraising a serious boost.

Funding for the pedestal was completed in August 1885 and construction was completed in April 1886. The statue was completed in France in July 1884 and arrived in New York in June 1885. Because of its massive size, the statue was broken down into 350 pieces and packed in 214 crates. The pedestal was placed in the courtyard of the star shaped Fort Wood on Bedloe's Island. The statue was assembled in 4 months on its pedestal and dedicated on October 28th, 1886.

The US Lighthouse Board was in charge of the Statue until 1901 where it was transferred over to the War Department. A Presidential Proclamation declared the fort and the Statue a National Monument on October 15th, 1924 and extended the boundaries to the outer edge of the fort. On September 7, 1937 the monument encompassed Bedloe's Island and the name was officially changed to Liberty Island in 1956. On May 11, 1965 Ellis Island became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

Because of the terror attacks on 9/11/2001, Liberty Island was closed for security and safety concerns. The island reopened in December 2001, the monument reopened on August 3, 2004, and the crown and interior finally reopened on July 4, 2009.

Fun Facts
  • The Statue wasn't always green; it was originally a brown color. As with any other copper object, exposure to the elements caused the color change. (text written by Chris Buchner)
  • The only actual filming to be done on Liberty Island was at the end when New York was celebrating the Ghostbusters and Lady Liberty's timely prevention of the end of the world. (text written by Chris Buchner)
  • The Statue's head is never as big as it appears in movies. In reality, it's roughly the size of a large walk-in closet and the windows have glass in them. (text written by Chris Buchner)
  • Due to a judicial decision in the late 90s, New Jersey has gained ownership over 3/4 of Ellis Island. New York now only controls the buildings on it. (text written by Chris Buchner)

Movie Shots


Real World Photos

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"Splash" (1984)
Madison the mermaid, played by Darryl Hannah, comes out of the water on Liberty Island. All visitors to the Statue of Liberty are quite shocked to see a naked woman strolling across the island. For the same of keeping things "clean", the third image here has been cropped to remove the nudity. The movie is available on 20th Anniversary DVD and Amazon Instant Video. (Frame grab by Matthew Jordan.)

Image   Image   Image

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