How 1885 Crowdsourcing Saved the Statue of Liberty

By | January 11, 2019

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The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island. The copper statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, and dedicated on October 28, 1886. Source: (

New York City had a big problem. France had gifted the United States with the Statue of Liberty to erect on an island in New York Harbor. It was a gracious gift and would be a wonderful landmark to welcome people coming into the United States through New York City. The majestic depiction of Lady Liberty would be one of the first images of America that incoming immigrants would see and they would be treated to a visual representation of the liberty they were seeking in America. The trouble was, New York City had run out of money and couldn’t finish building the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty would stand. That is until newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer had a crazy plan…ask for donations from the huddled masses. 

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Auguste Bartholdi. Source: (

The Statue of Liberty was a Gift

France presented with the United States with the giant statue, created by French sculpture Auguste Bartholdi, in 1881. But the statue came with some assembly required. The piece sat in wooden shipping crates in a storage warehouse in New York while plans were drawn up and construction started on an enormous pedestal on Liberty Island, on which the Statue of Liberty would stand.