The Statue of Liberty’s crown, which was closed after the 9/11 attacks, will reopen to the public on July 4, the White House announced on Friday morning. The decision, by the Obama administration, is a reversal of a Bush-era policy.
The Statue of Liberty’s crown, which was closed after the 9/11 attacks, will reopen to the public on July 4, the White House announced on Friday morning. The decision reversed the policy of the Bush administration.
Under President George W. Bush, the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service, had insisted that visitors could not be permitted because the crown — reachable only by a very narrow, 12-story spiral staircase with a low guardrail — did not meet modern fire, building and safety codes.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar formally announced the decision at a news conference at 9 a.m. on Ellis Island. “On July 4, we are giving America a special gift,” Mr. Salazar said.
No more than 10 people will be allowed in the crown at a time, he said, and officials anticipate that will allow for 30 visitors an hour. He estimated that 50,000 people would be able to visit the crown in the first year and that the number would be increased later to 100,000 a year. A spokeswoman for Mr. Salazar said that the method for distributing tickets had yet to be determined but that the secretary was committed to making sure the process was fair and equitable. Early reports that a lottery system would be used were incorrect, she said.
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