9. There’s a Replica of the Statue of Liberty’s Torch at the Ellis Island Hospital Complex
Our tour participants are often confused by the strange-looking sculpture that sits right in front of the psychopathic ward. Turns out, it’s actually a 1 to 1 scale replica of a portion of the Statue of Liberty’s torch (one-eighth of it to be exact). According to docents from Save Ellis Island, the National Park Service, which operates Ellis Island and Liberty Island (Statue of Liberty), sometimes uses the hospital complex as makeshift storage grounds for items it doesn’t know what to do with.
The replica was created by French artisans for display use to show the movement of the torch and the structure of the armature. Additionally, as we learned from a self-proclaimed “Liberty geek” and former park ranger, it allows people to see details of the torch up close. When the 26,000-square-foot Statue of Liberty Museum opens on Liberty Island in 2019, the sculpture will be moved and placed there for public viewing. In the meantime, you can check out renderings of the forthcoming site here. We were also lucky enough to check out the progress of the museum during its topping out ceremony back in December.