In my previous entry, I offered a look at how Times Square and the World Trade Center, two of New York City’s most revered landmarks, have changed over the years. And, as I’ve mentioned in the previous entry, New York is far too large and historic to fit all of its landmarks into a single list. With that being said, here are two more of the Big Apple’s notable landmarks and how they’ve evolved.
The Statue of Liberty
She is the most famous woman in all of New York City. She’s welcomed millions of immigrants to the shores of New York and has become a beacon of freedom and liberty. She has not only become an important symbol of New York, she is an important symbol of all of America.
Originally built in France in the late 1800s, the Statue of Liberty was meant to be a gift from the French as a symbol of France’s respect for America’s independence and prosperity. The statue was designed by Auguste Bartholdi and was constructed by both America and France.
And while almost all Americans know Lady Liberty’s current green color, not many know that she was originally a much different color. The Statue of Liberty was originally constructed of copper. Once finished, she shined majestically with her dark brown hue (think of a shiny new penny) to greet New York City’s newest citizens. Unfortunately, through oxidation, Lady Liberty lost her metallic finish and slowly transformed into the green beacon of hope that we all know and love today.
Central Park is a revered destination in New York City. It is known for its massive size, variety of ponds, meadows and lakes, historical buildings and its zoo. However, things were much different not too long ago.
The park was originally created in 1853 after New York’s wealthy citizens were eager to compete with the public grounds of major European cities. The idea stemmed from there, and it became one of the largest parks in New York City.
However, after years of decay and mistreatment, Central Park became something of a wasteland. It was not until recently that the park was heavily updated to offer the citizens of New York City a better public park. In the 1980s, Central Park’s vast meadows were barren of green grass, its lakes and ponds were overflowing with green scum and its buildings were littered with trash and graffiti. It gave the park a bad reputation and caused many New Yorkers to avoid it altogether. The Central Park Conservancy was formed in 1980 to combat this decay and to restore the park to its former glory. With donations of over $700 million, the Conservancy has managed to utilize that money to make Central Park the clean and welcoming environment that it once was.