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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Little Lady Liberty

While at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for Hanami (cherry blossom viewing), I noticed the most bizarre sight - a huge replica of the Statue of Liberty in their parking lot. I took a photo, not really intending to use it, but investigation led to the most fascinating story. The statue was built and installed in 1902 by William H. Flattau, a Russian born auctioneer who, proud of his newly adopted country, wanted a replica of the 151-foot original (created by the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi) to grace the roof of his eight-story Liberty Warehouse. The warehouse, located at 43 W. 64th Street, was built by Flattau in 1891. The statue, galvanized steel over an iron framework, was made in Akron, Ohio, cut in half (to ship through the railroad tunnels) and rewelded. Until 1912, visitors could climb a circular staircase to an opening at the top of the statue's head (much like the original on Bedloe Island), affording views of the area. The statue sat on top of the building for over 100 years when in 2001, the Athena group announced plans to develop the building into coop apartments, adding 4 floors and removing the 30 foot statue. In 2002 it was donated to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in honor of the police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers killed on September 11, 2001. Conservation work has been completed. And that's how it got where it is ...

9 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

That is a pretty big statue for any parking lot. I found it amazing.

Abraham Lincoln

Anonymous said...

I am always amazed when I see this statue behind the Brooklyn Museum. I remember seeing it when it was on top of the warehouse but being able to stand next to it you realize how huge it is.

Brian said...

I'm still sorting out the facts - there are discrepancies regarding many small things, e.g. this statue is described as being in a sculpture garden. I don't think this is it, unless it is yet to be moved.
Brian

tfangel said...

I don't remember where or when exactly, but one year some group up here made a half of a statue of liberty on one of the frozen lakes. Quite a sight. ;) Always interesting when something so iconic makes its way to new places.

Monica said...

It´s kind of funny, this big, nice statue in the middle of a parking lot!

Kate said...

Brian, I've tried 5 times to link my blog today as part of this comment, but I can't seem to get it to work, try as I might. For an interesting coincidence, check this out! http://visualstpaul.blogspot.com/2007/04/lady-liberty.html

Brian said...

kate - Wow, that is a strange coincidence! Shouldn't we get a prize or something?
Brian

Brooklyn Museum said...

Hi Brian,

Thanks for this post! More information on the Statue is here and the conservators on the project blogged about the process while they were working on it last summer. If you are curious, the blog can be found here

Miguel Angel Servellón said...

good to see a blog from Central America. May I please suggest that you attach the date to your posts.