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Eastern Concrete, Stony Creek leave mark on Statue of Liberty Museum

Last month, the much-anticipated Statue of Liberty Museum opened on Liberty Island, just steps away from the national landmark. New Jersey-based Phelps Construction Group constructed the 26,000-sq.-ft. building on an aggressive schedule and within the $70 million budget set by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

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The museum’s green roof features 4,700 square feet of Stony Creek 2x4 granite pavers. The same distinctive pink granite was used to construct the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal in the mid-1880s.
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During the construction of the museum, barges carried up to 16 mixer trucks per trip to Liberty Island from Jersey City, N.J. The single largest pour at the project site consisted of 400 yards for the structural slab. PHOTOS: Phelps Construction Group

Constructing the museum did not come without its challenges, the biggest being that the island had no access for the materials needed. Additionally, some points of the building are located within 10 feet from New York Harbor. These challenges were overcome by building a temporary dock on Liberty Island within the site, which could be adjusted for the varying tides. Building materials were then barged in from a launching site at Wittich Brothers Marine in Jersey City, N.J., including approximately 5,900 yards of 4,000 and 5,000 psi concrete from Eastern Concrete Materials.

“Building the Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island has been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects we have ever been involved in,” says Douglas Phelps, president of Phelps Construction Group. “Constructing a museum on a relatively small island in the middle of New York Harbor certainly had its difficulties, but they did not compare to the honor of being chosen by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to build this museum for not only our country, but the entire world to enjoy and learn what liberty means to them.”

New York-based FXCollaborative designed the museum to provide an estimated 4.3 million annual visitors the opportunity to learn about the Statue of Liberty’s history, influence, and legacy through three exhibit spaces. Lady Liberty’s original torch is on display in the Inspiration Gallery, surrounded by frameless glass curtainwalls. The multi-faceted three-dimensional structural steel roof system is clad with a 14,000-sq.-ft. green roof complete with Stony Creek granite paver walkways, native vegetation and panoramic views of New York City.