Statue of Liberty:
A National Monument and former Lighthouse

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty functioned as a lighthouse from 1886 to 1902, after being accepted by Congress as a gift from France 1877.

Standing 305 feet above New York Harbor, 2000 feet from the New Jersey Shore line, the great torch of the Statue welcomes man and ships alike, showing the way to the promise of harbor and safety. The torch can be seen from well beyond the the mouth of New York harbor and out to sea.

Located on Liberty Island, a 12 acre island, it is 2000 feet from Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

While there have been many claims as to which state the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Island) is in, it is in closer proximity to New Jersey and the State of New Jersey in fact does retain the riparian rights to all the submerged land surrounding the statue. However it continues to be within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of New York.

During the period of operation as a lighthouse, the U.S. Lighthouse board was responsible for its operation. There was a lighthouse keeper and the electric light could be seen for 24 miles at sea.

As a functioning lighthouse, the illumination of the beacon was never considered to be bright enough.

The initial operation was run by a steam dynamo plant on Bedloe's Island and fourteen arc lamps, nine in the torch and five others positioned strategically below at the angles of Fort Wood. However, the dimness of the lighting was little help to vessels entering the harbor and efforts were made to increase the illumination. In 1897, an oil-generating engine was installed to power the lights, but they were still insufficient, and the Liberty Lighthouse closed in 1902.

As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the monument is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1984, the monument was added to the World Heritage List.

In 2007, the monument was one of 20 finalists in a competition to name the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Today, visitors to Liberty Island can learn more about the old Liberty Lighthouse from park rangers.
Park Hours
9:30 am - 5:00 pm.
Hours are adjusted seasonally.
Ferry Service from New Jersey: Purchase round trip ferry tickets at the Central Railroad Terminal Building and Museum in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ . Ferries from Liberty State Park operate on a loop, stopping first at Ellis Island and then at Liberty Island before returning to Liberty State Park, New Jersey.

Ferry Service Schedule