Without its pedestal, the monument weighs over 201 tons. Its inner framework was initially made out of an iron rod skeleton connected to four wrought-iron supports. The iron rods have been replaced by stainless steel rods. The exterior skin is constructed of 300 overlapping copper plates. It would be difficult to build such a structure without any metal used in its construction.
The statue itself is made of white marble, but it is known that the Americans used limestone and granite as well during their early years. Limestone has been used for the arms and shoulders, while the legs are made of granite.
The height of the statue without its torch is 33 feet, 4 inches. The width of the shoulder is 14 feet, 9 inches. The distance from head to foot is exactly 92 feet.
The weight of the statue alone is 10,834 pounds. Including its base, which is 16 feet wide by 18 feet long, the total weight is 11,742 pounds.
Today, engineers use materials other than iron when building structures this size. However, at the time of its construction, this was not possible. The statue is therefore completely made of metal.
The skeleton is supported by a secondary iron frame, which in turn is supported by a system of flat wrought iron bars. These individuals transport the copper plates that make up the statue's external skin. A smaller frame supporting the head extends from the main frame, as does a slender 47-ft. 7-in. Tall iron rod called the torch bearer. The body of the statue begins with two large cylindrical legs made of sheet metal covered with layers of paint. Each leg is 15 feet long and 3 inches in diameter at its smallest point. The feet are unidentifiable remains but are believed to have been removed for scrap after the statue was cast.
The arms of the statue are attached to the side of the torso, above the chest area. The hands are clenched into fists. The fingers on one hand are slightly bent. The other hand has all five fingers straight out in front of it. On its back is an eagle with outspread wings, making it a representation of America. It stands over four stories high and weighs nearly 20,000 pounds. The image is based on a sketch created by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi while he was in Paris seeking funds to create the monument.
Construction began in 1872 and was not completed until over a decade later. The armory where the statue was built was located in New York City on Whitehall Street between Pearl and Barren Streets. The facility was closed in 1890 when the army withdrew its support from the project.
The statue is comprised of 250,000 pounds of steel and 62,000 pounds of copper, and it stands on a 54 million-pound plinth. The Statue of Liberty may swing up to 3 inches in severe gusts, while the torch can wobble up to 6 inches. This pliability protects it from harm during storms.
The face of the statue is made of white plaster, and the skin is covered with scales to produce an iron-like finish. The hair, eyebrows, and beard are also made of plaster. Inside the head is a cavity left for the insertion of a battery-powered light; this lamp was first installed in 1882 but later removed because it was too heavy for the wearer to carry. The arms are hollow tubes filled with ballast to balance out the weight of the statue.
The body of the statue consists of four sections: breast, abdomen, thigh, and foot. Each section is formed by rolling a large slab of bronze down onto a mold made of layers of wood and clay. The mold defines the shape of the piece being cast and leaves the desired impression in the metal. Multiple casts are made from the same mold to obtain sufficient pieces to make up the finished product.
Each section of the statue weighs between 10,000 and 20,000 pounds and is crated and shipped to its final location in New York City. On arrival, each section was lifted into place by a massive hydraulic jacking system built into the base of the sculpture.
The Statue of Liberty weighs 225 tons in total (or 450,000 pounds). The weight of her armature and torch is about 77 tons (170,000 pounds), while the weight of the copper sheathing is about 28 tons (63,000 pounds). The whole structure is lifted onto its base by concrete piers that reach down to solid ground through several feet of water.
The distance between the statue's foot and the nearest edge of her plinth is 12 feet, 6 inches. The height of the statue from top of head to tip of torch is 4 feet, 11 inches. The width of the statue at the chest is 30 inches.
The cost of the sculpture was $7 million ($ as of ). It was paid for entirely by donations from American citizens. The statue has been called the world's greatest work of art because of its artistic value but also because it stands for freedom and hope for many people.
It was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by New York construction company Dime-Museum-Keystone Inc. The statue was unveiled on July 4, 1884, in front of a crowd of over 50,000 people.