Building Museums Symposium 2019: Access For All – Creating The New Statue of Liberty Museum

Posted February 14, 2019

Statue of Liberty Museum, featuring Lady Liberty's original torch and a view of the Statue itself.
Statue of Liberty Museum, rendering courtesy of FXCollaborative.

In May 2019, the new Statue of Liberty Museum will open to celebrate Lady Liberty’s history, influence, and legacy in the world. With over 4.3 million visitors annually, how do you communicate ‘Liberty’ and create an experience that’s welcoming and meaningful for all, regardless of age, culture, language, and accessibility?

At the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Building Museums Symposium 2019, we will explore these topics depth through two programs: a behind-the-scenes hard hat tour of the new museum on Liberty Island, and a panel discussion with our project partners as the symposium’s closing keynote.

Access for All: Creating the New Statue of Liberty Museum

On March 1st, 2019, ESI Design’s Principal Designer and Founder, Edwin Schlossberg, will join Statue of Liberty Museum project partners to share how we created an experience that communicates ‘Liberty’ and that’s welcoming and meaningful for all, regardless of age, culture, language, and accessibility.

The presentation will explore the challenges of building on an island in New York Harbor, designing for resiliency and sustainability post Hurricane Sandy, and the issues of creating an accessible immersive museum experience. This panel will also include how the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to help build the museum, and the diverse group of partners who were brought it to oversee design, fundraising and construction.

Attendees will learn best practices in exhibit design to create a museum experience that’s accessible and “intuitive”—regardless of age, culture and language.

The presentation will feature speakers:

  • Stephen A. Briganti, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
  • John Piltzecker, Superintendent, Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, National Park ServiceNY;
  • Edwin Schlossberg, President and Principal Designer, ESI Design
  • Nicholas Garrison, Partner and Design Director, FXCollaborative

Panel Details

Building Museums Symposium
Access for All: Creating the New Statue of Liberty Museum
Friday March 1st, 2019
9 AM – 10:15 AM
Salon E
More information about Building Museums.


Private Hard-Hat Tour of the Statue of Liberty Museum – SOLD OUT

On February 27th, 2019 a small group of Building Museums conference delegates will explore the new 26,000-square-foot, still-under-construction museum building, and gain access to the museum’s new vista and green roof for never-before-seen views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.

Sarah Frankel, Senior Production Manager from ESI Design will lead the tour along with project partners from The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the National Park Service, and FXCollaborative, discussing the design, construction, funding, and operational challenges of the museum.


Wednesday February 27th, 2019
Liberty Island
9 AM – 12 PM (Ferry leaves at 9:30 AM SHARP)
Although this tour is currently sold out, for more information and to see if you can join the waitlist please register through the Building Museums portal.


Are you going to Building Museums 2019?

Let’s meet up and talk about the latest in digital and immersive exhibit experiences. Email our museum design team to make time for coffee.

Olivia El-Sadr Davis

Olivia is a former member of ESI Design’s Marketing and Business Development Team, blogging about the latest happenings at ESI and beyond.

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