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Statue of Liberty Museum Could Get a Complete Makeover

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A new structure is in the works, with more room to fit Lady Liberty's millions of visitors

For many New Yorkers, visiting the Statue of Liberty is one of those things that you say you should do—it's right there, it's an historic landmark, blah blah blah—but like going to the top of the Empire State Building (or One World Trade Center), it’s one of those treks that’s better left to tourists. And tourists do love visiting Lady Liberty: According to the National Park Service, around 4 million people take the trip to Liberty Island to check out the statue every year.

The museum at the base of the Statue, however, is facing growing pains: the number of people who can visit that in its current, tiny form is limited to around 5,000 each day. But that could soon change: according to the Wall Street Journal, the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation are planning a new, much larger Statue of Liberty museum. Their plans currently call for a free-standing structure that would sit at the opposite end of the island from Lady Liberty herself. FXFOWLE is reportedly designing the 15,000-square-foot space, which would feature galleries, a bookstore, a theater, and a green roof, among other elements.

The museum is still in the early stages, however; it would be privately-funded, so the organizations are currently seeking donors for the project. (The Journal identified Diane von Furstenberg as a big-name backer, though her office wouldn’t confirm that.) Once the funding is there and plans are approved—spokespeople for the museum wouldn't confirm a total cost for the project—a new museum would take about two years to build.