130 years after its completion, the Statue of Liberty is set to be granted a new 20,000 square foot museum to accommodate more visitors than the current museum, which lies at the statue’s base on Liberty Island. The new Statue of Liberty museum will be located at the northern tip of the island, opposite the original’s location.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), only a fifth of visitors to island can access the museum, meanwhile the Island had 4.3 million visitors last year. If plans, which are relying on private funding for the new museum are approved, the project would likely be completed in two years.
The project, run by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation with the U.S. National Park Service, is still being planned with designs yet to be finalized. Of the 20,000 square-foot building, 15,000 square feet will be exhibition space dedicated to showcasing the statue’s history, legacy, and construction details. That’s eight times larger that the current space and could accommodate up to 1,200 visitors per hour, doubling the current capacity.
New York firm FXFOWLE is due to lead the project and ESI Design, who are also based in New York, will design the exhibition space. Aside from capacity and space, the new museum will feature a gallery, “immersive theater,” bookstore, and space for administrative purposes. Protruding shading devices will shield the museum and a sloping green roof will reflect the topography of the site.
If realized, the current museum will be repurposed to house more administrative space. However, some exhibits displayed in the lobby and balcony will remain.