Statue of Liberty's crown opens (hopefully Air Force One won't take photos)
The Obama administration is making news with the State of Liberty again.
But thankfully this time they're not scaring thousands of New Yorkers like they did last week with that ill-conceived photo op.
Instead, goofy NBC weatherman Al Roker was on top of the National Monument this morning with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to announce the crown would be opened to the public once again.
Crown is open
"On the Fourth of July, we will open up the crown of the Statue of Liberty here in New York and New Jersey to the entire people of America in a way that we'll be able to manage the crowds that come into this place," Salazar told NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer from inside Lady Liberty's head.
Salazar said that initially 30 visitors per hour will be allowed to trek up the 168-step spiral staircase to get to the top of the statue , but that number will increase over time.
"We'll follow that up with more rehab and ultimately increase the number who can come up here," Salazar said noting that the statue will be closed again after two years for a more extensive renovation.
After that work is done, Salazar said more than 100,000 per year will be able to make it to the top.
Saying that "nothing symbolizes hope and optimism in the US like the Statue of Liberty," Salazar said he based his decision to re-open the crown on an analysis of the structure completed last month by the National Park Service, including recommendations on reducing risk for visitors.
"We cannot eliminate all the risk of climbing to the crown, but we are taking steps to make it safer," Salazar said.
STATUE OF LIBERTY STATISTICS
Top of base to torch 151'1"
Ground to tip of torch 305'1"
Heel to top of head 111'1"
Length of hand 16'5"
Index finger 8'0"
Head - Chin to cranium 17'3"
Width of head 10'0"
Width of eye 2'6"
Length of nose 4'6"
Length of right arm 42'0"
Width of right arm 12'0"
Width of waist 35'0"
Width of mouth 3'0"
Length of tablet 23'7"
Width of tablet 13'7"
Thickness of tablet 2'0"
Ground to pedestal 154'0"
Weight of copper: 62,000 lbs. (31 tons).
Weight of steel: 250,000 lbs. (125 tons).
Weight of concrete foundation: 54,000,000 lbs.
Thickness of copper sheeting is: 3/32in. or the thickness of two pennies placed together.
Wind Sway: 50 mph winds cause the Statue to sway up to 3 inches and the torch up to 6 inches.
Direction: The Statue faces Southeast in perfect symetry with the placement of Fort Wood and how people would see the Statue while entering the harbor.
Torch: a symbol of enlightenment. The current torch is a 1986 replacement of the original, now in the lobby. The new torch is copper, covered in 24k. gold leaf. Sunlight reflects off the gold during the daytime and floodlights (16), light the torch by reflection at night.
Crown: There are 25 windows in the crown which symbolize gemstones and the heaven's rays shining over the world.
Rays of Crown: The seven rays represent the seven seas and continents of the world.
Chains: chains and a broken shackle are at the Statue's feet and cannot be seen from below. This symbolizes the Statue as a goddess free from oppression and servitude.
Tablet: Represents a book of law.
Hopefully Air Force One won't take photos of us either. But if they do, we'll let you know on Twitter. So follow us!