CNN (July 3, 2009)
" The crown was closed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, for safety and security reasons.
"The National Park Service closed the attraction amid worries that it would be difficult for visitors to evacuate quickly in the event of an emergency.
"Visitors must climb a narrow 168-step double-helix spiral staircase to get to the crown...."
"Some Americans Will Celebrate July 4 in Statue of Liberty's Crown"
FOXNews (July 4, 2009)
"NEW YORK — The first visitors allowed into the Statue of Liberty's crown in nearly eight years began the arduous climb Saturday on an Independence Day journey laden with symbolism of freedom and national pride.
" 'I feel like I was just born today,' said Andrea Balfour, 38, as she prepared to ascend the 354 steps with her daughter, Mona. Mona won an essay contest to get to go up to crown Saturday — her 13th birthday.
"The visit was the Staten Island pair's 'biggest dream,' Balfour said.
"The statue was closed to the public after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The base, pedestal and outdoor observation deck were reopened in 2004, but the crown remained off-limits...."
These two articles give a pretty good overview of the Statue of Liberty Crown's re-opening.
Visiting the statue's crown isn't the same as it used to be: new handrails are part of an upgrade that park officials did to take care of safety concerns; and visitors won't be able to see the Twin Towers on New York City's skyline any more.
And, the torch is still off-limits. It's been closed to the public since a saboteur's bomb went off there in 1916.
The crown is open, but you won't be able to just land on Liberty Island and walk up to the crown. Visitors go in groups of 10 now, accompanied by a guide. And, you'll need a ticket. So far, 14,500 tickets to the crown have been sold. Most of those are for visits scheduled through the end of August. The good news is that tickets for the fall of this year and beyond are still for sale.
More about the Statue of Liberty:
- "Fun Facts About The Statue of Liberty"
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.