14 Iconic Photos of the Statue of Liberty Under Construction

Last updated on January 27th, 2023 at 08:13 pm

The Statue of Liberty has become a beacon for American freedom, standing proud for around 150 years in the waters of New York. Yet, few people know what it took to construct such an iconic landmark, and even fewer have seen pictures taken during its construction.

The statue was completed in 1884 and shipped from France to the United States in pieces, arriving on July 17, 1885. It was then reassembled on Bedloe’s Island and dedicated on October 28, 1886.

Let’s explore rarely-seen images of how one of America’s most treasured landmarks, The Statue of Liberty, was built. Learn all about the remarkable engineering that went into erecting Lady Liberty and soak up unique views from before she wore her celebrated green color.

Photos of the Statue of Liberty Under Construction

Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the statue's creator, posing with a visitor at a Paris studio, 1875.
Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the statue’s creator, posing with a visitor at a Paris studio, 1875. The idea for the statue came in 1865 when the French government commissioned Bartholdi to design a sculpture for the Suez Canal.

Workers hammer out copper sheets with The Statue of Liberty’s arm in the background.

The Statue of Liberty’s head on display in Paris, France, in 1883, one year before it would be shipped to the United States.

Well before the Statue of Liberty became an iconic American monument and tourist attraction, it was popular with tourists in France who came to see it under construction.

Lady Liberty’s head at the Paris International Exposition, 1878. The head was one of the first pieces completed and put on display.

The statue was built with copper, which has turned green over time due to the natural weathering process known as oxidation.

The statue stands fully assembled on display outside of the workshop in Paris. The statue stands 151 feet tall from the base to the torch.

A photograph of the torch on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 1776.

The face of the Statue of Liberty before it was attached to the rest of the head.

Photo of the Statue of Liberty being assembled in Paris, 1883. The head sits on the ground while the bottom half is assembled in scaffolding.

Photo of the toes and torch of the Statue of Liberty sitting on Bedloe’s Island before they were hoisted on the pedestal. C. 1885.

A woman and childing posing with the face of the Statue of Liberty

The almost fully assembled Statue of Liberty in Paris, France.

Lady Liberty’s inauguration, October 28, 1886. President Grover Cleveland celebrated the event with a military and naval salute.

If you enjoyed this post, check out photos of the Empire State Building under construction.

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