Pennsylvania empowers Lady Liberty

Symbolizing freedom, democracy and international friendship, the Statue of Liberty is one interesting lady. • To commemorate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, France commissioned sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi to design a sculpture with an 1876 completion date. • Ten years after its due date, the statue was assembled and dedicated on October 28, 1886. • From the base of her pedestal to the tip of her torch, the Statue of Liberty stands 305 feet, 6 inches tall. She has a 35-foot waistline and weighs 225 tons — the equivalent of the average figures for 2,760 U.S. women. • There are 154 steps from the pedestal to the head of the statue, but the public has not been able to ascend them since the 9/11 attacks. • The tablet in her left hand is inscribed with the date July IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776). • There are seven rays in her crown, one for each of the continents. • The exterior copper covering the statue is less than the thickness of two pennies and has a green patina from natural weathering. • For her 120th birthday, elementary school children have been invited to participate in a picture contest. Drawings of the statue submitted to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation by Jan. 31, 2007 have a chance to be featured on the statue’s Web site ((B)).
She’s 120 years old, but Lady Liberty is hip to the times. The Statue of Liberty, who celebrates her anniversary today ((2006)), carries a light of freedom that wouldn’t shine without the winds of Western Pennsylvania. Since March ((2006)), the statue’s torch has been lit, and Ellis Island powered, with the help of “green” energy from windmills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, including the six turbines near the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Somerset County and 10 turbines in Mill Run, Fayette County. “The General Services Administration, the federal agency that manages our buildings, has a commitment to sustainable energy,” said Darren Boch, a National Parks Service spokesman. Pepco Energy Services, based in Arlington, Va., supplies the electricity through Community Energy, based in Wayne, Delaware County, which owns the windmills. “It’s an honor to assist Lady Liberty in keeping the torch shining,” said Pepco spokeswoman Kim Price. According to the General Services Administration, using wind energy is part of a conservation program that ensures 33 percent of energy used in its Northeast and Caribbean region buildings comes from renewable energy sources. “People always call and ask if there are windmills around the Statue of Liberty,” Price said. “There aren’t.” Rather than hook the statue up to a windmill, the General Service Administration purchases a renewable energy credit. The government buys power for the statue and Ellis Island from the national energy grid, and the windmills put into the grid whatever amount they use. The statue and Ellis Island use as much energy in a year as do 1,000 homes, according to Pepco. The Statue of Liberty has a few other ties to the Keystone State. For her 100th birthday in 1986, the 25 windows in the crown were replaced with windows manufactured by TRACO, headquartered in Cranberry, Butler County. In 1876, 10 years before the Statue of Liberty was completed, her hand and torch were displayed at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. ((28 OCT 2006))













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