The Regional Review

Volume I - No. 6

December, 1938

Statue of Liberty
Removing Spike from Crown (View from Torch)


Fifty-two years ago in October President Cleveland dedicated the gift of France to a sister republic and Liberty Enlightening the World began her dual task of upholding the torch of freedom and battling the all-year elements in New York harbor. Like all earthly garments, her classical robes of 3/16-inch copper, skilfully draped by Bartholdi over her 152-foot stature, finally began to show wear at the seams and the colossal folds of her dress let the rain come in. Besides the disrepair of her wardrobe, other defects developed. Extensive renovation accordingly was begun in the summer of 1937 and, by last spring, restorative operations necessitated closing the statue to the public.

Visitors were readmitted this month after workers under supervision of the Service had: 1) overhauled, cleaned and repainted the structural steel skeleton; 2) repaired the anchorage attaching the copper exterior to the frame; 3) removed the antiquated, unsafe steel stair and installed a reinforced concrete stairway from the lower landing to the top of the pedestal; 4) repainted the entire interior of the statue and pedestal; 5) rebuilt the seven spikes of the headdress (They range from 11 feet 5 inches to 7 feet), and, 6) provided a modern electric distribution system for interior illumination. As a result, the Statue of Liberty National Monument, most famous Service area of the recent era, has been made safe again and far more convenient for the thousands of Americans who visit it annually.

Meanwhile, several features of the general program of development for Bedloe Island are in progress. Demolition of the buildings which were used by the Army is under way and construction of a seawall is advancing.


Herbert Evison, Associate Regional Director, asked by The Review to comment on South Carolina's interesting experience in the operation of two organized camps last season, recommended it as an example which other state and public agencies possibly may follow "with profit."

"The South Carolina venture in group camp management and operation was and is an experiment that appears to me to be of great value," said Mr. Evison. "It is an example which possibly may be imitated with profit by state or other public agencies elsewhere. Three years of experience with the problems of finding suitable operating agencies for group camps has indicated that our normal arrangements frequently do not open the way for camping experience to those who really need it most, and that in other cases even if the way is opened it is utilized with reluctance or not at all because tinged with charity. With such an agency as the state undertaking the operation, it can make its own rules of selection on the basis of the individual's actual need, regardless of membership in an organization or of any other factors which have tended to limit the user field.

"It is true that, as the record frankly shows, this year's operations, both at Cheraw and Kings Mountain, resulted in deficits, and some of the reasons why are plainly shown. It hardly can be expected that any camp will be used to approximate capacity unless there is an ample period in which to work out a program and to building up patronage. Furthermore, the weekly camper fee had to be set more or less arbitrarily since supporting experience was largely lacking. I feel convinced that, with plenty of time for advance planning, and with a weekly camper fee slightly elevated so that the State is not compelled to take all the risks of the operation, the venture can be made to stand on its own feet. Those of us who have watched the steady and sound advance which South Carolina has made in the field of state park development and administration certainly hope so."

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Date: 04-Jul-2002