Preparing for the Big Apple!

This week here at the Olmsted Center, the Statue of Liberty team–Eliot Foulds (my supervisor), Lance Guerrero (fellow intern) and myself–are finalizing our trip to New York City to visit the Statue of Liberty site! I am extremely excited to visit New York, as I have never been there before.

Our trip will consist of two one-week trips over the course of three weeks in July. We will be learning about the Maintained Landscape in the Facility Management Software System of the Statue. We will be reviewing the current data and information that the staff has, and evaluating what we need and could possibly use for the Cultural Landscape Report. While at the Statue we will also be conducting an asset inventory of the island, annotating existing conditions of the site as well as issues we see or problems that may happen down the road. We will also be meeting with various staff to get a better understanding of the daily issues they have, as well as collecting maps and documentnts that will assist us with the Cultural Landscape Report.

Following our first week in New York we will be going back to our office in Boston, and evaluating all the information we get from our trip. We will be creating and updating site assets and characteristics through graphics and maps, and preparing a Comprehensive Condition Assessment of the Statue of Liberty. Following our collection of data, we will be going back the following week to get anything else we may need!

In preparation for these trips we have been inventorying useful plans and images we will be referencing when creating our digital graphics. We will be using the existing plans and details to record the changes that have happened over time. Liberty Island is in a very unique location, and due to the impact of sea water weathering has had a major impact on features on the island. Constant maintenance is needed to keep everything in good condition, and we will record what features may need more care or need to maintained in a different way.

Over the years, the Island itself has gone through many key changes, such as the plaza where the two streets meet was changed into a flag pole. With our chronology maps, we will locate where and when the features were changed and try to infer why the features or designs changed for that period of time. Some may have been impacted by global issues such as World War II, while others may have been effected by environmental issues such as a tree disease. We will also try to mimic or retake some of the vintage photos that are historically important to the Statue of Liberty National Monument. These photos will help us capture the changes that we see or the experiential change that has occurred at the site. Some of the main arguments are that with so many changes the island has lost its integrity of what it once was. We want to bring that experience back to the people, back to what the designer initially intended!

It’s exciting to finally start learning about this project, and what I am able to do to help make it successful! Next week we will be learning about AutoCAD and ArcGIS programs, which I have had experience with but it will be nice to get a refresher!

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