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The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by France in 1886. The idea for the gift was conceived at a dinner party in 1865. She was sculpted by Frederic Bartholdi, and Gustave Eiffel served as the structural engineer. It was fabricated using the Repousse Process and was completed in 1884. The statue was presented to the U.S. on July 4, 1884 and was dismantled and shipped to America in early 1885 on the French frigate "Isere". There were 214 crates holding 350 pieces on the journey across the Atlantic.
Richard Morris Hunt served as architect for the pedestal. The Champion Fundraiser for the Pedestal was Joseph Pulitzer (Hungarian immigrant and Publisher of the New York World), and the Treasurer of The American Committee for the Statue of Liberty was Henry A. Spaulding. The pedestal became the largest 19th Century Concrete Structure in the U.S. weighing 27,000 tons with a volume of 13,300 cubic yards.
On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland officially accepted the Statue saying: "We will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected." It is ironic that it was President Cleveland who vetoed funding for the pedestal in 1884, making private fundraising necessary. The Statue of Liberty was designated a National Monument on October 15, 1924.
Initially, visitors could go up the arm to the torch, but the arm was closed to visitors in 1916. On July 30, 1916, during World War I, German saboteurs blew up a cache of dynamite at nearby Black Tom Wharf in New Jersey. The explosion did extensive structural damage to the buildings on Ellis Island, and popped some bolts out of the Statue of Liberty's right arm. Officials closed the monument for about a week. When it re-opened and ever since that time, the arm has been off limits to tourists.