The crown on the Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public for the first time since the terrorism attacks on September 11, 2001, when it was closed due to terrorism and safety concerns. Starting July 4, 2009, the crown of this iconic symbol of America will be accessible to 30 people at a time, with 10 people allowed to climb the stairs at a time.
The limited number is for security and safety reasons. This limit of 30 will continue for two years before closing again for renovations to make access safer and easier. The 12-story spiral staircase to the crown is already very narrow with low guardrails, which has raised concerns for fire safety as it is the crown’s single entrance and exit, violating all kinds of fire codes.
However, it is being reopened on July 4th, as a boost to New York City tourism and a gift to the city from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and the Parks Department. This is a victory for New York Representative Anthony Weiner, a Queens Democrat and prominent supporter. President Barack Obama also backed the idea, as the closure was originally enforced by the Bush administration. The formal announcement was made by Salazar on May 8, 2009 on NBC’s Today Show.
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