New York state is filled with astonishing historical information. From towns that used to be referred to with different names, mysterious Hudson Valley communities and ghost towns that most residents have never heard of, there's always something new to learn.

However, the majority of people who visit this famous landmark in New York did not know that it used to be a lighthouse.

When people think of lighthouses, they imagine something that lives along or on the water which once kept those who were traveling on sea safe. A little lighthouse had a huge significance in the Hudson Valley. 

What if the most visited landmark in New York was actually a lighthouse?

This Landmark Was Given As A Gift From France To The United States


The National Park Service shared,

"The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people commemorating the alliance of France and the United States during the American Revolution. Yet, it represented much more to those individuals who proposed the gift."

New York residents may also be shocked to learn about this famous, NY landmark that was once a lighthouse.

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When Was The Statue Of Liberty Designed In New York?


Hudson River Lighthouses shared that the Statue of Liberty was designed in 1876 and completed in 1886.

Hudson River Lighthouses shared how to get to and from this famous statue.​

The Statue of Liberty can only be accessed by ferry. New Jersey and Manhattan Island are the two locations where guests can depart from. This is open daily from 9am until 5pm.

 What Led Up To The Statue Of Liberty Being A Lighthouse?


According to Hudson River Lighthouses, 

A Frenchman named Edouard de Laboulaye made a bold suggestion that would change the world. He

"suggested that France honor American Democracy with a gift for their centennial in 1876. In 1870, sculptor Auguste Bartholdi took up Laboulaye's cause and designed what would become the Statue of Liberty."


"The project misses the 1876 deadline, largely due to funding issues around the construction of the statue's pedestal. ​"

In support of this project, in the 1800's, Emma Lazarus wrote a poem called "The new Colossus". Joseph Pulitzer was asking for donations to help build the pedestal.

When Did The Statue Of Liberty Become A Lighthouse In New York?


Hudson River Cruises explained that,

"That same year, the statue arrives in New York City to great fanfare, but is put in storage for a year as the pedestal is completed."


"Built of Rosendale cement from the Hudson Valley and faced with granite, the pedestal was completed in early 1886."

It's fasciating to learn that the cement that was used came from the Hudson Valley. Once the statue was assembled, it officially opened in October of 1886.

"Upon opening, President Cleveland declared it under the auspices of the United States Lighthouse Board - the Statue of Liberty was officially a lighthouse. "

In November of 1886, the Statue of Liberty then became an operational lighthouse.

There Was An Urge To Bring In More Visitors To The Statue Of Liberty 


It wasn't until the early 1900's that the Lighthouse Board made the decision to surrender the control of the island and their portion which was requested by the War Board. The National Park Service took over the island in the 1930's.

It was stated that the Statue of Liberty was used as a lighthouse but 

"not been designed for this purpose and was not very effective. In 1901, the Statue was transferred to the U.S. Department of War."

The National Park Service shared

The Statue of Liberty had a makeover of the island in the 1930's. Normam T. Newton worked for the National Park Service as a landscape architect who wanted to bring in more visitors and provide a space for this famous statue to be seen.

The National Park Service started on Norman T. Newton's plan in the late 1930's.

Funding by Congress in the 1940's, helped with knocking down old army structures and instead, paved pathways and planed trees too.

In 1956, the island was then renamed to Liberty Island. The Statue of Liberty lives on Liberty Island at the New York Harbor.

Have you ever been to the Statue of Liberty before? What are some of your favorite lighthouses in New York?

LOOK: Here Are the 25 Best Places to Live in New York State

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in New York using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

Escape To This Enchanting Hudson Valley Treehouse

When searching for something different, fun and peaceful to experience in the Hudson Valley, guests don't have to look far.

A Hudson Valley treecastle provides a space unlike any other Airbnb.

Gallery Credit: The Treecastle at the Roundhouse Homestead, Airbnb,

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