A Photo Essay: A Visit to the Crown of Lady Liberty

After a decade in NYC or any big city, one tends to stay away from the tourist attractions unless family comes to town or special access is granted. Local is better, right? Even the iconic Statue of Liberty falls into this category for most longtime NYC residents.

While Liberty Island, home to the Statue of Liberty, is only a 15 minute ferry ride from Manhattan, the various lines and queues can be daunting. Especially dealing with the lines and TSA-like security procedures before you board the ferry and the boarding process and long waits encountered on the return trip.

If all of this sounds undesirable to you, but you still want to get a closer look at Lady Liberty, the NYC Water Taxi provides a excellent alternative. It does not go to Liberty Island, however it sits a short distance in front of the statue for 10 minutes before either returning to Manhattan or heading to other landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge. Thus, avoiding the security procedure and the de-boarding and re-boarding queues.

In my ten years in NYC, I've opted for the speedy NYC Water Taxi over the ferry on several occasions. However, this summer I got the itch to go up into the Crown and to photograph the Statue of Liberty and NYC from Liberty Island. I was surprised to find Crown tickets are sold out two months in advance. Thus, buying tickets in August meant waiting until November.

I have to say, there is something very special about experiencing the views from the Pedestal level, being inside the 129-year old statue, climbing the stairs to the head of Land Liberty, and peering out the small windows of the Crown. I highly recommend it to locals and tourists alike though it just requires advance planning.

I hope you enjoy my photographs from my experience. Click on any of the photos for a full screen view.

The view as the ferry reaches Liberty Island.


The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge from Liberty Island.


Fall on Liberty Island in early November.


The spectacular views of Manhattan from Liberty Island.


The view of Manhattan from the Pedestal level.


The view from the Pedestal level.


Lady Liberty's right eye, slightly repaired from inside the statue.


The rest of her face.


This is the two sided staircase used to ascent and descent the statue. Extremely narrow in width.

The windows of the Crown looking to Lady Liberty's left.

The view looking to Lady Liberty's right. You can see a small portion of her arm and her Crown out the windows.


A portion of the right arm and the iconic Crown as seen out the Crown window when opened.


A photo of the right arm, the torch, and the Crown taken blindly outside one of the Crown windows.

A photo of the Crown taken blindly from outside one of the Crown windows.


Departing Liberty Island.


The tip of Ellis Island in the foreground and Manhattan Skyline beyond.