After a year of renovations, the Statue of Liberty is set to reopen this weekend and it’s poised to be more disability-friendly than ever before.
For the first time, people who rely on wheelchairs will be able to visit the monument’s observation level and see inside Lady Liberty thanks to the addition of a lift. Previously those with mobility impairments were only able to visit the ground level of the statue.
Officials with the National Park Service, which operates the Statue of Liberty, said that the observation area located at the top of the pedestal is the highest part of the monument that can be made accessible while still retaining the statue’s historic structure.
The interior of the Statue of Liberty had been closed to visitors since last fall. In addition to the accessibility improvements, the $30 million renovation project included upgrades to the monument’s staircases, fire alarms, air conditioning, bathrooms and other amenities.
A gift from France, the statue located on an island in New York Harbor was first dedicated in 1886.