How Did They Build The Statue Of Liberty ?
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous structures of the US as well as in the whole world. The popularity of the structure is not only due to its architectural magnificence but also due to the rich and interesting history attached to it. An intriguing part of its history deals with the construction of the statue itself, right from the change in design plans to the issue about shipping in and setting it up in New York Harbor.
The chief architect and engineer of the Statue of Liberty is Frederic Bartholdi, a French structural engineer. He undertook the project of constructing this iconic structure after being inspired by a comment of Edouard Rene de Laboulaye, a law professor and politician of the contemporary France which was that any structure built in the name of America’s Independence would have to be a joint collaboration between the French and the Americans.
Bartholdi gave the contract of the statue to Viollet-de-luc in the early part of 1870. Upon de-luc’s death in 1879, the contract went to Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the same engineer behind another famous structure named the Eiffel Tower, and Maurice Koechlin. Together, under the tutelage of Bartholdi, discarded the initial plan of masonry pier core of the statue and adopted for a metal framework structure.
The Statue is primarily an iron truss structure, with a copper skin on it. The iron framework is deliberately not made much rigid to avoid the Statue to get cracked up due to the tensile forces. A metallic framework, armature was introduced as a support system, ending to “saddles”, a metallic mesh of straps. Now, to avoid corrosion due to galvanization between copper and iron, shellac and asbestos amalgamation is introduced there. Finally, the whole structure was built in France, dismantled and shipped to the States, where it was again assembled at Bedloe’s Island and finally put up in the Liberty Island, New York.
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