Liberty Island was closed to the public indefinitely after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. The statue was considered especially unsafe because it failed to meet some fire regulation standards and had sub-par evacuation procedures. In the following years, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (SOLEIF) ran a campaign to raise the money for construction work to improve the Statue's safety and security features. The National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior approved the reopening of the Statue's pedestal for August 3rd, 2004. This would allow visitors to tour the base of the statue, which includes a museum and an observation deck offering a panoramic view, though they would not be able enter the upper levels of statue itself. Tourists would be allowed to view the inside of the statue by looking up through a glass ceiling, as long as they were accompanied by a park ranger. The Statue of Liberty's crown remained closed until about a month ago, when it was reopened to the public on July 4th, 2009. However, the torch, which is the highest point on the statue, is still off limits to visitors.
Ana MeiLi Carling, EVHP Staff