Yesterday morning, the ceremonial last structural beam was raised into place at the construction site of the Statue of Liberty Museum on Ellis Island. Designed by FXFOWLE, the 26,000-square-foot project represents the first new building undertaken by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation since the 1980s.
The museum will include an immersive, three-screen, walk-through theater, along with interactive galleries dedicated to the history and meaning of the Statue of Liberty. The exhibit will culminate in the “inspiration gallery,” a glazed space with views out toward the statue, which will house the sculpture’s original torch. A green roof and stepped front plaza will be landscaped with meadow grasses. “We didn’t want the building to be another monument,” said FXFOWLE partner Nicholas Garrison, “but rather a peaceful place to come in and a fun place to climb on.”
The site of the building is elevated above 500-year flood levels, and according to Garrison, the firm paid special attention to resiliency issues during the design process. “We started out almost six feet lower,” he told RECORD, “and elevated it after Hurricane Sandy hit.”
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation considered a total of three different schemes for the museum, ultimately choosing FXFOWLE’s. “We thought the plan they presented was the best that we saw,” said Stephen A. Briganti, president and CEO of the foundation.
The museum is slated to open in 2019 and will be free to the public.
Watch the video below for a sneak peek at some of the under-construction spaces.
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