Liberty Island - view from Manhattan

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Liberty Island is one of the small islands in New York Harbor. It got its name according to the monument standing on it – The Statue of Liberty. The original name was Bedloe’s Island (an anglicized form of the original owner’s name – Isaack Bedloo) and it was officially changed in 1956. However, the name Liberty Island was used from the beginning of the 20th century. Before that, it was sometimes nicknamed also “Star Fort” (the island was home to Fort Wood, an eleven pointed star-shaped battery made of granite).

This island with the area of 14.717 acres (59,558 square metres) is uninhabited. It is the property of federal government and it is administrated by National Park Service of Department of Interior. People can get there only by ferry, either from Battery Park in Manhattan (2.6 kilometres) or from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey (600 metres). Liberty Island is approximately 1.6 kilometres far from Ellis Island.

Throughout its history, the island has been a private property, quarantine station or summer home. When the British occupied New York they seized Bedloe's Island and used it as a refuge for Tories. After the French came, they used the island as an isolation station for three years. In 1796, the island was conveyed to the ownership of the state of New York for use as a hospital site or any other desired purpose. It was used for the construction of a land batter in the shape of an 11-point star.

In 1877 Frederic Auguste Bartholdi chose Bedloe’s Island as the site for his Statue of Liberty. French were supposed to build the site, Americans prepared the pedestal. Finally, the Statue of Liberty was placed to the Island on 28 October 1886. It was designated as a National Monument in 1924. Since September 11, 2001, the island is guarded by around-the-clock patrols of the United States Coast Guard.
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