The new Statue of Liberty Museum designed by FXCollaborative will open May 16.
Visitors will encounter a unique, welcoming structure designed to enhance pilgrimages to one of America’s most sacred grounds.
Nicholas Garrison led the FXCollaborative team that created the new 26,000 s/f building which creates the illusion of a structure being lifted from the earth by incorporating angular design techniques and the use of native materials to Liberty Island and many used to build the Statue itself (including the same Stony Creek granite that composes the Statue’s pedestal, copper, plaster and a variety of native vegetation).
“Our mission was not to impede the views, not to disrupt the space; but rather to frame, extend and enhance visitors’ experiences here,” Garrison said of the museum and its location at the north end of the 12-acre Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The $70 million museum’s processional stairways and its rooftop pavilion offer open gathering spaces for the expected 30,000 daily visitors to the Island, with views of the Statue, the Manhattan skyline and the new One Word Trade tower, site of the 9/11 terrorism attacks.
“We hope that people that come here will reflect on the meaning of democracy and the celebration of liberty,” said Garrison, who himself is a descendant of French immigrants that came to America via Ellis Island. The exhibits inside the new museum– created by ESI Design – will provoke insight, stir emotions and inspire ideas about the Statue of Liberty and the ideals she has represented since her 1886 dedication as a gift from France to the American people. An immersive theater experience will take visitors on a virtual fly-through atop and inside the monument.
Funding for the museum was provided by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.