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View Full Version : Why can't you ascend the Statue of Liberty torch?


Quintas
09-14-2010, 11:43 AM
Leave aside anything to do with terrorism. As far as I know, the torch has been off limits for many many years. Well before 9/11. I visited the statue in 1989 and went up into the crown and the torch was not open. My father visited in the late 60's and he said you could not ascend to the torch.

Is it a safety issue? If so, shouldn't it now be safe after the repairs done in 1986? Granted, it appears you couldnt get more than 3-4 people up there at a time, but if someone wanted to pay extra or make a reservation, I don't see why it needs to be off-limits.

CalMeacham
09-14-2010, 11:50 AM
1.) It's extremely narrow and hard to get to. IIRC, it doesn't allow for two-way traffic, as the staircase to the head does, so it's not like you can have a constant stream of people.

2.) Before the 1980s repair job, the structure was extremely weak, and they didn't want to risk anyone going up there. Ironically, much of the damage was due to water leaking in through the nifty "lighthouse" glass structure they built for the torch to light up. Currently, they've gone back to the original design, which features a gilt flame lit from the outside.

3.) Terrorism was a worry even long before the current climate. .....


TRUE STORY -- In the early 1970s one of my mother's co-workers, along with a group of other disgruntled Vietnam Vets, hid in the arm and torch of the Statue. after hours, they came out and "took over" the Statue, not letting anyone in until they made their point on the networks about treatment of vets. They held it hostage for a whole day, IIRC.


Funny part: They didn't actually barricade all the doors. The police could have come crashing in and arrested them all if they simply tried all the doors.

CalMeacham
09-14-2010, 12:04 PM
The Master Speaks:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/612/could-visitors-once-go-into-the-statue-of-libertys-arm



On the Vietnam Veterans Takeover:

http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=1265&print=yes

md2000
09-15-2010, 07:55 AM
Yeah, I have a photo of the locked up entrance to the arm. It basically looks like a ladder going up there (which it would be from the angle of the arm). The logistics of letting people climb it boggles; you'd need someone to stand at each end and count people going up and call the all clear before someone starts up or down, I would imagine.