Statue of Liberty crown to reopen to visitors

The front of the Statue of Liberty during The front of the Statue of Liberty during a media tour to the crown in Manhattan. (May 20, 2009) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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The Statue of Liberty's crown will reopen later this month despite a $27.25 million renovation project going on inside the national landmark that attracts thousands of visitors every day.

Tickets for Lady Liberty's crown are available now online, officials said. Tickets by boat to the statue, including reaching the crown, as well as to Ellis Island, are $17 for adults, $14 for those 62 and older and $9 for children ages 4 to 12.

"There were some unexpected delays, but we wanted to keep our promise that the crown would be reopened on Oct. 28th," said Mindi Rambo, National Park Services spokeswoman, referring to repairs inside the statue.

Crown tickets must be reserved online and are limited to 240 a day. Ticket availability will increase as the statue's renovation project nears its expected completion early next year, said Rambo.

Ticket holders for the crown, who must climb 162 steps to reach it, will also have access to the pedestal-observation level beneath the 151-foot statue's feet, and a portion of the top of the star-shaped fort that serves as the statue's base. But the museum at the bottom of the statue will remain closed until the renovation is completed.

The monument is expected to reopen fully in early 2013, said Rambo.

Renovation completed includes a new elevator for wheelchair accessibility, upgraded bathrooms, and air temperature control and fire alarm systems.

Once the work is completed, visitors will have "complete access from the bottom up and the exterior," said Rambo, including the Old Fort Wood base and terrace at the bottom.

Visitors who waited Monday on a two-hour line to board the next ferry to the statue and Ellis Island had mixed reactions to the crown's reopening.

"I'm here right now and to come back on a special trip, I don't think I'd do it," said Paul Fried of Detroit, who fretted about the wait. "Anyway, I probably couldn't climb up the stairs," he said, smiling.

But Joan Busche of Whittler, Calif., said she may reserve tickets for the crown next year when she and her granddaughter visit Pennsylvania.

"We're trying to visit a different state each year," said Morgan Brooks, Busche's 12-year-old granddaughter. "I'd come back," she said.

"Being able to go inside the crown would just give you that feeling -- that feeling of history. It just gives me the chills," said Busche.

A group of five retired hairdressers from Wisconsin said it's unlikely they would return for a walk up to the crown. "They would have to have the paramedics waiting for me," said Holly Jones, laughing.Tickets may be purchased online at statuecruises.com or by calling 201-604-2800. Crown tickets are available only by reservation.

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