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How They Moved the Statue of Liberty

how-they-moved-the-statue-of-libertyHave you ever wondered how the Statue of Liberty got to its present location? Well, history tells us that this gargantuan icon of American freedom so associated with the dreams of immigrants was once an immigrant herself. She was built across the sea in France by the same Gustave Eiffel who also built the Parisian tower that bears his name.

On, July 4th, 1884, the Statue of Liberty was finished and erected on French soil for its official presentation to the United States as a gift celebrating American Independence. Immediately, thereafter, however, the towering statue was disassembled and loaded into 214 wooden crates, which were placed on the French vessel Isere

The Isere plied the waters of the vast Atlantic Ocean and arrived in New York to cheering crowds on June 17th, 1885. Some 200,000 people crowded the docks, while many also took to the waters in small boats, to welcome the Isere and the disassembled pieces of the Statue of Liberty.

The statue’s pedestal was not finished until April of 1886, but as soon as it was ready, reassembly began in earnest. Since no scaffolding could be erected, workers dangled worryingly from the ends of ropes as they pieced Miss Liberty back together again. Finally, on Oct. 28, 1886, the “big move” was complete and the official dedication ceremony took place.

No other moving job in history, aside perhaps for the moving of old London Bridge to the deserts of Arizona, has been so big, difficult, long-distance, and unusual.

But as different as “ordinary” moving jobs are from moving the Statue of Liberty, they still have a few things in common:

  • Communication: Extensive discussion of the details of moving Miss Liberty went on between the French and Americans. Planning ahead and contacting a top moving company with which to arrange the details of your move is the best way to streamline the process.
  • Packing and Unpacking: Can you imagine if the Isere came to pick up the Statue of Liberty from France only to find it was still fully assembled? Or if upon arrival in New York Harbor, the water traffic was so dense that the Isere couldn’t find a good place dock and unload? Even so, pre-packing or hiring your mover to pack for you is essential, and you often need a parking permit to unload on busy city streets.
  • Temporary Storage: The pieces of the Statue of Liberty had to be stored for over 16 months before they were fully assembled. While it is unlikely you will have to wait that long, scheduling mismatches often require temporary storage of your moved items, especially for long-distance moves. A good moving company will help you arrange for temporary storage and offer to help you move boxes in/out of the storage unit.

If you are looking for an experienced, reliable moving company in the San Francisco Bay Area to help you with your upcoming move, Jay’s Small Moves is a name you can trust.

Contact Us

Jay's Small Moves
1760 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 999-6795

2525 Mandela Pkwy
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 501-5800

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Monday - Sunday: 7am - 7pm

Licensed & Insured: CPUC
CAL-T #190688